Chicken shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from marinated, grilled or roasted chicken that is typically served in a wrap or pita bread. The chicken is seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices such as cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, along with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. The marinated chicken is then cooked on a vertical rotisserie or grill, allowing the meat to become tender and flavorful while acquiring a slightly charred and crispy texture.
Chicken shawarma can be enjoyed as a quick and delicious meal or snack, and it has gained popularity worldwide for its rich flavors and versatility.
1.5 lbs (700g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Tzatziki sauce or garlic sauce, for serving
Pita bread or flatbread, for serving
Sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, for serving
Fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish
- In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
- Cut the chicken into thin strips or bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade and mix well to ensure each piece is coated. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight for the best flavor.
- Preheat your grill or a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- If using a grill, thread the chicken pieces onto skewers. If using a skillet, you can cook the chicken directly in the pan.
- Cook the chicken for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until it is cooked through and nicely charred.
- Remove the chicken from the grill or skillet and let it rest for a few minutes.
- While the chicken is resting, warm up the pita bread or flatbread in the oven or on a stovetop griddle.
- Slice the cooked chicken into thin strips.
- To assemble the chicken shawarma, spread a dollop of tzatziki sauce or garlic sauce onto the warmed pita bread or flatbread. Add a generous amount of sliced chicken on top.
- Top with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.
- Roll up the pita bread or flatbread tightly and secure it with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Serve the chicken shawarma wraps immediately and enjoy!