Could we translate this takeout specialty—traditionally cooked on a spinning live-fire spit—into a recipe suitable for home kitchens?
Why This Recipe Works
This street-cart and takeout staple is tricky to reproduce at home without installing a rotating spit, layering 30 pounds of meat onto it, and cooking the meat for hours. However, by using the broiler and boneless chicken thighs, we were able to create an authentic-tasting home version. The intense heat generated by the oven's broiler ably bloomed the flavors of the cumin-paprika mixture we applied to the chicken and browned the meat's craggy surface. Opting for a quicker weeknight method, we gained the benefits of marinating by broiling lemons right alongside the meat. Squeezing the lemon juice over the sliced chicken right before serving lent it brightness and smoky depth. To round out the meal, we serve the shawarma with a cabbage slaw, diced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, a lemony yogurt sauce, and pita bread.