I’ve avoided posting this recipe because I didn’t want you to think I was some sort of crazed Nigella fan/stalker such is the large number of her recipes on this blog.
However, this has become such a ‘go to’ recipe when I have to feed lots of people for a buffet type spread (and so many people have asked me for the recipe) that I’ve finally caved in.
This is a wonderfully simple recipe and whilst you do need a well stocked spice cupboard there’s nothing really specialist involved. It also makes good use of chicken thighs which still remain economical even if you buy them from a quality butcher (which I always do).
I cut the chicken into thin slices which makes it go along way and serve either with rice (easy) or homemade flat breads (a bit more effort). As an accompaniment Nigella mixes up a tahini and garlic flavoured yoghurt bejewelled with pomegranate seeds but I don’t bother with this.
Nigella’s Chicken Shawarma
Serves 6 (or more if you’re serving as part of a buffet with other dishes)
- 12 skinless and boneless chicken thighs (I like to remove as much of the visible fat as possible)
- The grated zest and juice of two lemons
- 100 ml of regular olive oil
- 4 fat or 6 smaller garlic cloves grated
- 2 dried or fresh bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons of paprika
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes
- 1 teaspoons of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
- ¼ a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ¼ a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
Take a large bowl, tupperware or freezer bag, tip in the chicken thighs and add all the other ingredients.
Squish everything about (hands are best for this) until the chicken is well covered with all the marinade ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 1 day.
When you are ready to cook heat your oven to 200oC fan and take the chicken out of the fridge to come up to room temperature.
Spread the chicken thighs out on to a large baking tray – you may need two because you don’t want them to overlap.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden and slightly crispy on top. I like to turn mine halfway through for an even colour. Sometimes they need slightly longer than 30 minutes.
Take the chicken out of the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes covered with foil.
Slice the cooked thighs thinly with a sharp knife and place in a sharing bowl for everyone to help themselves.