I might have found the perfect chicken recipe. It's easy, does not require a marinade, flavorful, and as much as I cringe at using this word, moist. That's right. We're on the moist train, people. Because as awful as that word is, there's nothing worse than dry chicken.
So if you're still reading after I forced you to read the word moist several times (aaaahhhh!!!! WHHYYY??!!), here's the breakdown.
I ripped this recipe out of a Real Simple magazine a few months ago, not having high hopes because I historically have not had great success with Real Simple recipes. Well this one had every member of the family from old to young licking our fingers, and I didn't even get any leftovers the next day because my husband hunted them down like a bomb-sniffing bloodhound.
We did decide that it needed a few tweaks, so this time around I made a few adjustments and it was better than ever.
First step is to combine all your spices. I know it looks like a lot, but this part could be done in advance to save time. Trim your chicken pieces of any fat (2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs) and rub the spice mixture all over. Set aside for a few minutes.
You might also want to get a cute helper to be your sous chef. 😍
Next, make the yogurt mixture by combining 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons mayo, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, and one large grated garlic clove. I know a lot of people who can't stand white substances, but trust me, you are not going to want to skimp on this garlicky goodness.
Start heating your cast iron skillet on medium high, then add two turns of olive oil (about two tablespoons) and spread it around evenly. Once the skillet is heated, add your chicken and cook 5-7 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are. It took me two batches to get all of it cooked. **Side note: I have a feeling that this chicken could also be grilled with great results, but I haven't yet tried it.** Transfer to a cutting board when completed.
While you're waiting for the chicken to cook, you can chop up your tomatoes. Here is where I diverged from the original recipe. Real Simple has you make a tomato side salad, but I wanted that tomato salad ON my chicken, so instead of slicing into wedges, I diced. I didn't have any fresh oregano leaves on hand, so I added some dried oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper with a splash of white wine vinegar. It's amazing how good a simple blend of tomatoes and oregano can be.
After the chicken is done cooking, use the same cast iron skillet to brown wedges of a red onion. You may need to add a little extra oil, but don't take any of the browned bits out of the pan. Sauté until softened, not droopy.
Meanwhile, place your naan bread on a cookie sheet or pizza pan under the broiler on high for a few minutes. Definitely don't overdo this one or it will burn. You want a nice soft, slightly toasted naan bread. **If you are on a low carb diet, I suggest dicing up a cucumber to lay down as your base and eating it out of a bowl instead of serving it on naan bread.**
Slice your chicken against the grain into bite-sized pieces and add the sautéed onion to the same bowl. I always take the time to check the chicken to ensure that there are no pink spots that could potentially cause food poisoning. If there are any you have doubts about, you can throw them back into the pan for another minute while the naan is warming.
It's time to nosh! Pile it all together on top of that warm naan bread and tell me this isn't the best chicken you've ever made!
Shawarma-Spiced Chicken Thighs
(The original recipe can be found here)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
3 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 large clove garlic, grated
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, divided
2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves, plus more for serving (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
Naan bread, for serving (or if you're on a low carb diet, a diced cucumber)
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, mayo, garlic, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl. Toss diced tomatoes with oregano, pepper, salt, and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar in a medium bowl. Set bowls aside.
3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, add chicken to hot oil; cook, flipping once, until browned and is cooked all the way through, about 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board.
4. Add onion to skillet; cook over medium-high heat, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet, until onion is browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Broil the naan bread in the oven for a few minutes under high heat until warm and slightly toasted.
6. Shred chicken into bite-sized 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 and tomatoes over warm naan bread.
Time: 40 minutes
Let me know what you think in the comments! Also, don't forget to tag a photo of your meal on Instagram with #nbprecipes