Shawarma-Spiced Chicken Thighs


Few things are quite as delicious as long-roasted shawarma-style chicken drizzled with creamy garlic-yogurt sauce.

Shawarma-Spiced Chicken Thighs
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
4 serves

This simplified version of shawarma-style chicken draws on those robust Middle Eastern flavors, but uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. After rubbing them with a spice mixture, you'll quickly sear them and then tuck the juicy pieces into pillowy flatbreads. The best part might be the quickly browned onions, which pick up all the delicious pan drippings from the chicken. Serve any leftovers piled over rice or tossed with shredded romaine.


  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)

  • ½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 large clove garlic, grated

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided

  • 1 ½ pounds tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, plus more for serving

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 red onion, cut into ½-inch slices

  • Naan, for serving


  1. Combine cinnamon, coriander, cumin, paprika, cloves, turmeric, and 2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Rub mixture evenly over chicken; set chicken aside.

  2. Stir yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl. Toss tomatoes with oregano, pepper, 2 tablespoons oil, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a medium bowl. Set bowls aside.

  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, add chicken to hot oil; cook, flipping once, until browned and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°F, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board.

  4. Add onion to skillet; cook over medium-high, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet, until onion is browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  5. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a serving platter with any accumulated juices. Add onion and any remaining juices in skillet to platter. Top with oregano. Serve with yogurt mixture, tomato salad, and naan.

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