Shawarma is a slow roasted meat or chicken spun on a vertical rotisserie grill. This is a staple to any Mediterranean meal and it’s one of my favorites! It was something I grew up eating living in Michigan, and I miss the accessibility I had to Dearborn which is the Mediterranean Food hub of the States (IMO).
Now this can be done with any kind of marinated meat. But it’s the technique that gives you that delicious roasted meat that you’re able to shave off with a knife to add to your pita.
Here I’m using my Chicken Shawarma Casserole marinade recipe. It’s a mix of shawarma and tawook spices and one we love in my home.
Once you have your chicken or meat marinated you will want to get your rotisserie base ready. For that all you need is:
1 Large Onion
I used metal skewers but you can use wooden skewers if that’s all you have. I would presoak the wooden skewers over night to avoid them from getting burnt while cooking. (soak a few extra incase you break some)
You’re going to want to peel and cut the top and bottom tips off your onion and insert the skewers from the bottom to the top. If you are using wooden skewers just insert the skewer into the onion, keeping the onion as your bottom base.
Now you’re just going to place your onion skewer on to a parchment or foil lined sheet pan (Use the later). Take your marinated meat of choice (I’m using boneless chicken thigh), and string it through the skewers, one by one. I used about 2 lbs for my skewers length.
Be sure to hold the skewers at the top close together and as you push down keep holding the skewers at the top together as they will try to separate.
Once you get it to balance, top with a tomato or squash of choice. You can also add veggies of choice like potatoes, carrots, zucchini
You will also want to place 4 to 6 extra skewers around going upward on an angle to balance the shawarma tier to help with it from tipping over.
This part is exceptionally crucial because as the chicken bakes it shrinks and goes off balance.
Bake it in a 400’F oven for about 2 hours or until the chicken it cooked and slightly chard all around.
Pull out a few of the stabilizing skewers carefully while still holding the main skewers and reinsert them into a half cut lemon to allow it to stand with support. Serve with an adornment of shawarma staples like pickles, pitas, veggies and hummus.
When you think you’ve used enough skewers, think again and use more. Better to have a securely balanced tier than to have one that keeps toppling over. (I learned this the hard way, trust me you’ll end up having to clean your entire oven.
Don’t use parchment paper as I did. Use heavy duty aluminum foil or you’ll be left cleaning and scrubbing your sheet pan from all the burned drippings.
Once made, remove the skewers which are helping to stand the tier up and have them run through the back of the tier, securing into a lemon to have it held up. (Check photo for reference)
When serving place it on a platter lined with pita bread or rice to catch all the drippings or you will end up with a puddle of meat drippings.