As I mentioned not too long ago, I binge-watched all episodes of Nadiya’s show Time to Eat, and shared some of her recipes here already. I have one more for you, her take on Chicken Shawarma. Could not be simpler. Season the meat, pack it inside a loaf pan (preferably cast iron), and stick it in the oven. Come back 40 minutes later to tender, juicy meat, full of flavor. We enjoyed it over Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash. Quite a delicious meal…

(slightly modified from Nadiya Hussain’s recipe)

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Heat the oven to 375F and lightly grease a] loaf pan (cast iron is ideal, but not mandatory).

For the shawarma, mix together the cornstarch, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cloves, cayenne and cinnamon.

Put the oil into a bowl, then add the chicken and stir it around. Add the dry spice mix and stir to coat all the chicken pieces well. Layer the pieces of chicken in the loaf tin and press down, then bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

When the chicken is ready, leave it in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes, before inverting the pan on a serving platter. Careful, as the pan will still be pretty hot, especially if you used cast iron.

Serve right away with the side dish of your choice or flatbreads.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: When I watched the show, I kept telling myself there’s no way this could have a happy ending. It all seemed too simple. I doubted the chicken would be fully cooked, and expected it to have too firm a texture. But something told me to just give it a try. My main modification was to reduce the salt and the cayenne. I am not sure if it was a typo in the recipe as published in the site, but it called for 2 full tablespoons of salt and it was truly too much (I made this recipe twice, the second time with my regular amount of salt, and that’s the version I share with you today).

I forgot the cilantro when I brought it to the table, and quickly fixed the problem, because a bit of green adds joy to the picture. Give this recipe a try, and you won’t be disappointed. To see exactly how she does it go to Netflix (this episode).  Around 6 min and 45 seconds she starts preparing it.

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  1. Absolutely love shawarma but as I have two fabulous spice merchants in Sydney and Melbourne have oft simply bought the fresh mix !! Well, am very grateful to receive ‘your way’ – as I have all needed at home this will be on the menu by the weekend ! And I also always have farro in hand and some butternut pumpkin in the house . . . so !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • you are all set! I hope you like it, it does feel odd as you are making it, with all that feeling of “this is a strange way to do chicken” – but it worked well, I intend to make it again soon


  2. Peter made this for dinner last night, and thanks you from the bottom of his heart that you adjusted the salt content. We had it with butternut squash and barley — absolutely delish! There is enough left over for dinner tonight, and will have it with raita and (very not traditional!) cheddar and jalapeno scones. Excellent recipe! A definite keeper.


  3. I so want to make this! FWIW, I checked the online recipe from the Penguin House cookbook website that features Nadiya’s Time to Eat cookbook, and it only called for 1 TBL salt for 750 gm (26.5oz) chicken thighs. So I’m going with that.

    Three questions: Is there a reason why you didn’t slice the thighs in half as called for in her recipe to make more layers? Did you slice off the cooked chicken in strips to mimic spit-roasted kebab meat like Nadiya did? And finally did you preheat your cast iron loaf pans (a brilliant suggestion, BYW) before adding the chicken? Thanks for the inspiration! I love visiting your blog.


  4. I too could not fathom 1 tbsp of cayenne for 1.5# of chicken, and reviewers elsewhere complained of too much salt. Thanks for making the corrections.


    • You are welcome… I do think some people might tolerate a lot more spice and salt because the more you use the more your taste buds get adapted to it, so I rather moderate 😉


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