Grilled Chicken Shawarma
Grilling is something as a Wisconsinite I do in my winter coat and boots. Nothing sounds and smells better than the sizzle of meat hitting the hot grill as it smokes it way to deliciousness. I love Middle Eastern food and Chicken Shawarma is one of my favorites. Chicken thighs have so much more flavor than chicken breasts and usually half the cost. Of course. if you are a dark meat hater this can be made with white meat but it is not traditionally made that way. Marinate the chicken over night and grill the next day. I have made these in the oven and using the last few minutes of cooking to a safe temperature, I broil them to get a nice and crusty brown
- 1 1/2 pound boneless chicken thighs
- 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 medium white onion sliced thin
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp cayenne or curry powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala or Josh Rogan Spice (Penzey's Spice)
- 1 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
- 1/2 slice lemon juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper California Pepper (Penzey's Spice)
Mix all spices, oil, bouillon, lemon juice in large ziploc bag with sliced onion.
Clean and pat dry chicken and place in a Ziploc bag with marinade mixture and mix well to coat chicken.
Place sealed Ziploc bag in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight
Grill chicken thighs on well oiled grill grates for approximately 6-8 minutes per side or until internal temperature of thickest part of thigh reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Save Marinade with onions.
Optional: Bake chicken thighs in lightly oiled casserole dish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Raise oven grate to broil position and place chicken on lightly oiled cookie sheet spreading out evenly and broil for approximate 5 -10 minutes until thickest part of thigh reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and starts to form dark crispy edges.
In small saucepan, on medium high heat, cook marinade with onions until mixture comes to a rolling boil and onions become translucent and caramelized. Add extra olive oil in pan if needed to accomplish.
Remove chicken from grill or oven. Slice chicken into thin slices and add to cooked onions.
Prepare my Middle Eastern Salad and Tzatziki Sauce from my Middle Eastern Vegetarian Wrap recipe and use the grilled chicken in replacement for the hummus .
I'm a big fan of Penzey Spices and have a wonderful collection of spices I use in all my recipes. But if you can't find Josh Rogan or California Pepper for this recipe, no worries.
Just add a little extra curry powder or garam masala spice and use your own pepper blend. Or be creative and experiment with other middle eastern spices from your favorite spice or super market store.
The biggest advice I can give you is that "fresh is best". So, check those expiration dates on your spices. Ground spices lose their flavor after 2-3 years and whole spices in 3-4 years.
Spices can be very expensive and as a minimalist that cooks and bakes almost everyday. I have a small but elaborate spice collection. However, if you find out you just cleaned out your spice cabinet and threw out half of your spices, then I recommend keeping a nice collection of your favorite (10) savory spices and (5) sweet spices you use regularly and only buy a new spice for a special occasion recipe or know you will be using it up in the next couple of years.