YIELDS: 6 Servings PREP TIME: 30 mins COOK TIME: 16 mins TOTAL TIME: 46 mins

This homemade chicken shawarma is all about the spices! It's a long list but so worth it! Add some heat to it with a simple harissa aioli and serve with fluffy, saffron rice and simple yet flavorful lemon dressed greens.


2 lbs boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
2 tbsp shawarma spice blend
2 tbsp homemade spice blend (recipe below)
2 tbsp olive oil

Spice Blend
Fennel seeds
Whole black peppercorns
Coriander seeds
Cinnamon sticks
Cardamom pods
Whole cloves
Urfa Biber chili
Ground cardamom

Saffron Rice
1 ½ cups basmati rice
1 ½ cups water
½ yellow onion, diced
3 saffron threads
Black caraway seeds

Harissa Aioli
¼ cup veganaise
1 tbsp harissa paste (adjust to taste)

Lemon Dressed Greens
Mixed greens
Lemon wedges
Extra virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt

Pickled turnips

Mortar and pestle 
Small bowl 
Medium bowl 
Instant read thermometer


  1. Add equal parts of all of the spices to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind until well combined and finely ground.
  2. Combine the chicken thighs, olive oil, shawarma blend, and spice mixture in a large bowl and mix until the chicken is well coated.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for about 24 hours to really let the flavors develop.
  4. Combine the rice, water, onion, and saffron threads in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover and let stand for 12 minutes.
  6. Fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to serve.
  7. Preheat your grill to med-high heat and lightly oil the grates.
  8. Place your marinated chicken, skin side down, on the preheated grill and cook for 5-8 minutes per side, until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.
  9. Remove from the grill and let rest.
  10. In a small bow, whisk together the veganaise and harissa paste. Taste and adjust to desired spice level. Set aside.
  11. To prepare the greens, fill a medium bowl with mixed greens and dress with a few squeezes of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of maldon salt. Toss until the greens are well coated.
  12. To assemble, start with a few spoonfuls of rice on a plate. Sprinkle the rice with a bit of black caraway seeds.
  13. Add a chicken thigh and some of the lemon dressed greens to the plate as well as a couple of pickled turnips and a few microgreens.
  14. Top the chicken with a dollop of the harissa aioli and serve this beautiful, restaurant-quality dish!