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I first tried chicken shawarma years ago, I can’t remember where, but when I got the idea to see if I could make it myself, I kept typing “chicken shwarma” into Google. All that came up was chicken shawarma, but I quickly realized that my memory had failed and there was an extra “a” in there! (The good news is, Google is really good at figuring out what you mean!) Happily I discovered that although the interesting name might make you think it’s really complicated, it is a really simple recipe. This easy chicken shawarma is something I serve alongside pita and yogurt sauce and some kind of green vegetable, which makes it a frugal and simple family meal.
Easy Chicken Shawarma Pita Meal
The inspiration for this meal came from a recipe I found in the NY Times, but it is hard to access the recipe now without a subscription to the newspaper, so you can see the original recipe at Recipe Zazz. I have adjusted the seasonings and also simplified some of it so that it’s as simple as throwing a bunch of stuff in a bag, letting it marinate, and then cooking it in the oven. You can take the added step of pan-frying the chicken and onion after its cooked, which you don’t have to do—all the flavor from the spices and roasting the chicken will be there—but oh my goodness, the extra flavor from the crispy, blackened chicken is SO GOOD.
Once the chicken is done cooking in the oven, you’ll take the chicken from the pan and slice it into strips. Then just put it all in a big skillet in a single layer.
After cooking it for a few minutes on one side, you’ll flip it over with a spatula and cook it on the other side. Then you’ll just scoop it into a bowl and place it on the table with the rest of the meal.
Because we were eating the chicken in pita bread with the yogurt sauce, I just serve broccoli alongside it. But you could also make this into a rice bowl dinner by making rice instead of pita and adding other vegetables to put in the bowl with the chicken, rice, and yogurt sauce.
Another recipe with international flavor from the archives: Thai Style Beef Stir Fry!