Chicken Shawarma, Anna-style

Since I learned to make my own pitta breads. (I KNOW – get me, yawn…) I make loads of dinners for myself and James with pitta breads on the side. Falafel you can find here, I also make lamb Kofta, (not yet posted this), and sometimes I just do a mezze of salads and humous and various spicy things if we don’t want meat.

I’ve called this shawarma. It kinda isn’t that. It’s not roasted on a spit, for a start, it’s marinated and then roasted in the oven. But the flavours are those you’d expect to get if you were in a middle eastern take-away or restaurant. It has had The Male Seal Of Approval. Which means it is, apparently, pretty good…herbs-and-spices-for-chicken-schwarmaServes 3-4 depending on appetites and whether you serve it with or without some carb on the side.

You have chicken options here:

  1. Buy a 1-1.5kg / 2-3 lb. whole chicken and joint and bone it yourself, if you fancy practising that. I quite enjoy doing it, it’s a bit of Sweeney Todd feeling. Or should that be Mrs Lovett, seeing as she made the pies..? Anyway, the DIY route is, natch, much cheaper than buying it ready cut-up, and is not hard. I’ll post a tutorial one day.
  2. Buy a few of packets of boned breast meat, and if you like brown, some boned thighs as well. You need about 800g to 1.2kg
  3. Don’t bother with removing the bones and just buy the joints you like, bone-in. It will marinade just as well, only take longer to cook. 

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Roast Chicken

This may seem like a no-brainer of a recipe, but there may be some of you out there who’ve never dared to go for it. You’re throwing cash down the drain buying parts of a bird in a plastic tray: you can get a whole bird for the price of two chicken breasts, then eat the leftovers for up to three days, which is easily how long it’ll keep in the fridge. You’re also chucking your money away buying a ready-roast chicken. A basic one from Tesco’s costs £7.50, (and I’m blocking my ears and la-la-la-ing when it comes to M&S prices), whereas the same sized raw chicken is £4.50. There’s no way you’re going to spend £3.00 on oven costs, and the ready-roasted ones have often got… you guessed it… SUGAR on them.

Pre-heat the oven to hot – that’s 220º C. Ignore all other advice. 

Here’s the sort of pre-oven look you want to achieve:ready for a roasting

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