Mains, Recipes

Slow Cooker Shawarma-Inspired Chicken

Slow Cooker Shawarma Chicken

Chicken shawarma. It’s been an obsession of mine for years, and thanks to Mezza‘s growing number of locations, a go-to when I’m in a pinch for lunch or straight up don’t feel like cooking for dinner (it happens!). Flavourful, juicy meat, not to mention the garlic dip it’s served with, really make it the stuff of protein dreams.

If you’ve followed my cooking adventures for a while, you would know that I take great pleasure in replicating some of my favourite restaurant dishes at home (faux pho anyone?). After recently nailing a tabbouleh recipe, and it quickly becoming a staple side dish, I was inspired to broaden my Lebanese cuisine repertoire and attempt to re-create the shawarma experience at home. Despite not having a rotisserie, I was able to capture a lot of the flavour and juiciness that makes shawarma so damn good in the slow cooker—also making this dish extremely easy and low-maintenance. With slow cooker dishes, it’s just set it and forget it—put it on at night to wake up to a house filled with delicious aromas and a ready meal, or put it on before work to have dinner already cooked when you get home, making it ideal for busy people.

And because no shawarma is complete without toum, the Lebanese garlic sauce it’s typically accompanied by at restaurants, I tried my hand at that too following this recipe (using organic sunflower oil and my blender)—and OH. MY. GOD.

Ingredients

  • 2lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (preferably from a well-treated source)
  • 1 small head of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • juice from 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp rendered bacon fat (butter, coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil would also work)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp sea salt (I like Himalayan pink salt)

Instructions

  • Put garlic, onion and lemon juice at the bottom of the slow cooker
  • Lay chicken down evenly over top
  • Sprinkle cinnamon, oregano and sea salt evenly over top of the chicken
  • Place cooking fat on top of meat
  • Set the slow cooker to “low” and allow to cook for 6-8 hours
  • Once cooked, chicken should be a little browned around the outside. Pull apart / shred the chicken with forks, mixing the meat in its juices, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

  • For a homemade shawarma plate, as pictured above, serve on top of potatoes (or rice) with a side of tabbouleh and toum garlic sauce 
  • Use leftovers as an amazing salad-topping protein