Shawarma and Greek Salad – So Good Together
Tonight for dinner we made one of our absolute favorite meals. Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma. We paired it with a Greek inspired salad we discovered years ago. They ended up a perfect pairing.
What is Shawarma? Well, according to Wikipedia:
Shawarma (/ʃəˈwɑːrmə/; Arabic: شاورما) is a dish in Middle Eastern cuisine consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Originally made of lamb or mutton, today’s shawarma may also be chicken, turkey, beef, or veal. Thin slices are shaved off the cooked surface as it continuously rotates. Shawarma is one of the world’s most popular street foods, especially in Egypt, the countries of the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula, and beyond.
We don’t have a spit obviously, so this is the oven roasted version of the dish.
Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma
The Shawarma recipe comes from New York Times Cooking. You can link to the original recipe and their information about this recipe here.
I started the Shawarma at noon, hours before dinner so that it could really soak up all the flavors of the marinade. I couldn’t help myself and kept pulling it out of the fridge to soak up all the wonderful smells of the cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and paprika.
Then at 4:30 I turned the oven on to heat up. I took the chicken out of the marinade and made a few slices in each chicken breast before placing it on the baking tray.
I then sliced the onion into about 8 pieces instead of the recommended quarters. Not a fan of the texture of onions, I’m more likely to eat them the smaller they are. While the oven heated up, I let the onions sit in the marinade.
When it was time, I added the onions to the tray, and used the tongs that I had picked the chicken and onion up with to add some more marinade over everything and made sure to add more garlic from the marinade so really get those flavors in there.
After a long forty minutes of this amazing aroma of spices filling the house, it was time. I removed the tray from the oven and sprinkled the parsley over. I couldn’t wait to dive in.
Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma
- 2 lemons juiced
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic peeled, smashed, and minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- pinch ground cinnamon
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large red onion peeled and quartered
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- Prepare a marinade for the chicken. Combine the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper flakes in a large bowl, then whisk to combine. Add the chicken and toss well to coat. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat oven to 425 degrees. Use the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to grease a rimmed sheet pan. Add the quartered onion to the chicken and marinade, and toss once to combine. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade, and place on the pan, spreading everything evenly across it.
- Put the chicken in the oven and roast until it is browned, crisp at the edges and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to rest 2 minutes, then slice into bits. (To make the chicken even more crisp, set a large pan over high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then the sliced chicken, and sauté until everything curls tight in the heat.) Scatter the parsley over the top and serve with tomatoes, cucumbers, pita, white sauce, hot sauce, olives, fried eggplant, feta, rice — really anything you desire.
Now for the salad…
This is hands down the salad we make most often throughout the year. We discovered it during Greek Month and have been making it ever since. It’s easy, it’s aromatic, the fresh vegetables combine together for a smell so amazing, you won’t be able to wait to eat it, and its delicious! The light and fresh taste complimented the Shawarma so perfectly.
Need a quick side dish?
Invited to a party, but you’re super busy ahead of time to make anything too time consuming?
Having a party and need the perfect salad to compliment any meal?
You guessed it…Greek salad.
The olive oil we received as a free sample from Pinch Me. This is a website where you can receive free samples of hundreds of products, we have discovered so many new favorites through Pinch Me.
The feta is from Costco. We love feta, so we buy LARGE tubs. I have read buying blocks and crumbling yourself is better, we just haven’t taken that step yet.
The rest of the ingredients are all from Aldi. If you live near Aldi, check them out. They have a wonderful selection.
I also had green onions so I tossed one in. Did you know you can re-grow them? I like to preserve them by drying them in the oven.
Instead of black olives (we aren’t fans) we had Kalamata olives (the purple ones) so I threw those in instead. If you have chick peas, they provide a nice texture difference. I add about half a cup, but that would be up to you.
Had to show my adorable curtains too.
Our Favorite Salad Recipe
I cut the recipe in half for just the two of us, but this is the full version:
- 2 cucumbers peeled and chopped into quarter 1/4 moons
- ½ red onion sliced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- black olives pitted and sliced to taste
- In a smaller bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, and dried oregano. Whisk together and pour over the vegetables and mix well. Season salad with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Sprinkle feta cheese and olives over the top of the salad and mix before serving. Taste and adjust spices if need be.
Once it was time to fill the plates….I was ready…. The spices blend perfectly and the cinnamon hits you last. I wanted to eat way more than my stomach would allow, but can’t wait for leftovers on Sunday!
The salad goes great with steak as well. Give it a try! Post a picture on instagram and tag us! @grecobon #grecobon.