Traditional chicken shawarma is slow cooked on a vertical rotisserie spit (it’s delicious, but not ideal for home cooking). If you’re craving the same tender, Middle Eastern dish that can easily be made in your own kitchen, this is the recipe for you. The chicken is dressed up with warming spices like cinnamon, turmeric and cumin, and pairs perfectly with a light and airy slaw. The slaw is topped with the mighty nigella seed. It may look like a black sesame seed, but it gives off an amazing, nutty flavour that’s a cross between oregano and toasted onion. The slaw can also be made in about 10 minutes flat. How’s that for a quick and easy side dish?
For the chicken shawarma, combine all spices in a bowl. Coat the chicken in the spices, ensuring every crevice is marinated. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and pour broth over top. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 6 hours.
When the chicken is done, roughly shred it into uneven pieces. If you want these pieces to be crisp, place them in the broiler for 5 minutes, or quickly saute in a pan with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil. Set side.
For the cabbage slaw, while the shawarma is cooking, slice up the cabbage slaw. You can shred the cabbage and carrots in a food processor, using the grater attachment, or slice by hand, and use a box grater for the carrots. Both options work well. Place the sliced purple and green cabbage, grated carrots and chopped parsley in a bowl. Combine the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper) in a separate bowl.
To serve, pour the dressing over the cabbage, and toss well. Finish with a sprinkling of nigella seeds on top. Place the shawarma on (or beside) the cabbage slaw and finish with a sprinkling of roughly chopped parsley.