Chicken, Smoking + Grilling

grilled chicken shawarma

If I had to pick only one recipe as THE recipe of the summer, this IS it.

My friend Jihad introduced me to this recipe (his own) on a recent camping trip and I was blown away by the flavor. The bright marinade with fresh lemon and bold spices make this chicken unbelievably tasty and the yogurt tenderizes the chicken as it marinates overnight.

I also really dug this recipe for the easiness of it. We threw a little dinner party on a weeknight and served this quickly with no prep night-of given all we had to do was grill.

Another way I saved on time was by buying pre-made but fresh apps + dessert to serve. I found an amazing Middle Eastern grocery called City Food & Grocery (4832 N Cumberland Ave, Norridge IL) where I stocked up on the BEST freshly made hummus and labneh to serve as a pre-dinner munchie with toasted pitas and vegetables. I also got a tray of delicious pastries for dessert that were also locally made.

Well enough with the apps – let’s get to the main eats! I super-duper-cali-fragilistic-expialidocious promise you – you will not regret making this fab AND easy meal!

Prep Time: 24 Hours in Advance; 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15-18 Minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients for Chicken
2 lb boneless + skinless chicken thighs
1 cup greek yogurt
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Ingredients for Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves minced garlic
pinch of salt and pepper

For Serving
freshly made pitas if you can find them
sliced pickles (gherkins)

A day before you’re going to grill out, mix the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Place the chicken in a large zip-lock bag and move the chicken around until all pieces are well coated in the marinade. Place the chicken on a plate and set in the fridge. You can marinate the chicken for as long as 24 hours. Halfway through this time, flip the bag upside down so that all sides of the chicken are getting marinated evenly.

You can also make the garlic sauce ahead of time by simply mixing all three ingredients together well. Cover the sauce and place in the fridge until it’s time to eat.

Get the grill up to temperature to 450 degrees – we did high heat to get a little char on the chicken, YUM. Grill on one side for 10 minutes, then flip to the other side and grill until the internal temperature registers at 165 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes. At this time throw the pitas on the grill for just a minute until they are warmed. Slice the top off the pitas, slice the chicken and serve up! Add the sliced pickles and creamy garlic sauce for the ultimate delicious dinner.

A big thanks to my buddy for letting me in on his recipe even though he made me guess on most of the measurements. 😉

5 thoughts on “grilled chicken shawarma

  1. Fabulous! I’ve made shawarma a few times and my recipes have way more spices in the marinade. I like the simplicity of this recipe; can’t wait to try it!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: