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Chicken Shawarma – Oven Baked and Lightly Grilled

“Chicken Shawarma should always be in the fridge. Perfect on rice, in pitas, on salad…this lemony garlic pepper chicken is pretty awesome stuff!”


The season is here and I’ve been a million different directions. Let’s just say it hasn’t felt quite festive around here but we are making the best of it. Manservant and I just returned from a quick visit to Philly where Zoe cheered us up. All is fantastic in her world and that makes a parent feel good. I do feel though that life has gotten in the way of this blog and for that I apologize. After all this is supposed to be the time that one cranks out recipes and cheer and gains readers by the boatload. Don’t I wish?

This doesn’t mean I’ve stopped cooking, though I’ve had a very hard time putting positive words to paper. Just wanted to let you know that I’m not dead or anything but I’m not really sure what or anything means. In any case I do want to wish you cheer and goodwill and all kind things for mankind. Womankind. Peoplekind. Life is a wondrous journey filled with ups and downs and hopefully we all have more of the ups.

If you’ve read my blog long enough I’m sure you realize that I don’t just talk about food; though sometimes that might be the better avenue. Life isn’t always one grand boulevard lined with flowering trees and quaint cafes, though I wish it was, and food doesn’t always help, though I do believe it’s a pretty good cure. I could use some powerful chicken soup with magical qualities about now, but instead I’ll just give you this recipe for chicken shawarma. It may not be powerful, but it sure was awesome. We all need a perfect escape from heavy rich food and this is colorful enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

I made this for a casual dinner party. I also made some gorgeous saffron yellow and white rice to go with it. One had the choice to shove this into pitas or to eat it on a bed of rice. Toppings are your choice but we had hot sauce and pine nuts and cilantro. Of course there was hummus and tahini and feta. Tomatoes and cucumbers aren’t necessary but they sure are good. And in case I left out the kitchen sink, just know that almost any garnishes work for this. Make a lot for leftovers because this shawarma is also great on salad.

Food is pretty powerful stuff. Here’s hoping it cures what ails me! And here’s hoping it sends a little joy your way!

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Yield: 4-6 ServingsAuthor: Abbe OdenwalderPrint RecipePin it

Chicken Shawarma

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 50 MINStotal time: 60 mins
Chicken Shawarma should always be in the fridge. Perfect on rice, in pitas, on salad…this lemony garlic pepper chicken is pretty awesome stuff!


  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1/2 c plus 1 T olive oil
  • 6 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 2 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t ras el hanout
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless thighs or breasts
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley
  • For Garnishes: Hot Sauce, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Scallions, Cilantro, Feta, Olives, Pine Nuts, Tahini, Hummus, Rice, Pita, Your choice!


  1. Prepare marinade for chicken by combining lemon juice, 1/2 c olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, ras el hanout and chicken in a large zip lock bag. Mix ingredients well and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  2. When ready to cook preheat oven to 425. Use the remaining tablespoon of oil to grease a rimmed sheet pan. Add the quartered onion to the chicken and marinade and toss to combine. Now spread the chicken and onion from the marinade and place on the sheet pan evenly. Reserve marinade.
  3. Place in oven and roast until browned and cooked through about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to rest a few minutes then slice into chunks or bits. Alternatively I took the thighs and breasts and placed them on a preheated high temperature grill for about 5-10 minutes to give them a smoky grilled taste. I also basted them with the reserved marinade.
  4. After removing from the grill I cut the chicken into chunks or you could slice into bits-your choice. Serve the chicken with your choice of garnishes.
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  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    December 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

    So delicious and comforting! I must make some too. Thanks, Abbe.

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    December 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    YUM! And nothing that Bill would consider offensive in your recipe, LOL. Glad you had a nice visit with Zoe—and happy to see you posting! xoxo

  • Reply
    December 18, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Love this recipe, and your whole post. But what is underneath the chicken? Polenta?

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      December 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      It is tahini. I served this with yellow and white rice which is coming soon! What a pretty dish!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    December 18, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Life and blogging don't always agree, do they? And sometimes one has to give — usually blogging. It can wait, life can't. 🙂 Glad you had a great visit with Zoe. And really glad you made this for us! Fantastic looking dish. Thanks.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    December 18, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    So sorry you've been feeling down, Abbe. It seems the holidays does that to people. When your children are grown and off on their own we do feel a little 'empty' at times when we recall all the festive hustle and bustle of school concerts, a room full of teenage friends laughing, etc. Your chicken shwarma does sound delicious, Abbe, and so pretty how can you not smile!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde de Broekert
    December 19, 2017 at 12:32 am

    I hear you loud and clear , I hope you have more ups this year . I should have looked at your blog sooner when I needed some chicken soup for my cold.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Woo hoo! Sounds like a great dish and a perfect one that should always be in the fridge! Life definitely gets in the way at times, take care and take long slow deep breaths! 😊

  • Reply
    Healthy World Cuisine
    December 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    No worries blogging can be a full time job but life is to so you have to make some difficult decisions and it sounds like you made the best one! Love this delicious dish. Take Care and stay positive.

  • Reply
    Sippity Sup
    December 22, 2017 at 1:28 am

    When you have Chicken Shawarma it's made all the better by the perfect plate to serve it on! I've never been to Philly. Is it a big Chicken Shawarma town? GREG

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    December 26, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Your chicken shwarma sounds like it would put a smile on anyone's face…I hope it did for you. Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year and look forward to posts from you when you feel like it. 😀

  • Reply
    Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat
    January 8, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Yum, I love chicken shawarma so much!!

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