I tried another Nigella recipe today, from her Simply Nigella book – Oven-Cooked Chicken Schwarma.
I deviated from the recipe as it was designed to feed between six and ten people, and greedy as I am, I could not possible eat that much. I’ll give her measurements and tell you how I amended them.
This was delicious – marinated chicken thighs, cooked in the oven, sliced and laid in pitta bread with shredded romaine lettuce (she calls for iceberg but I didn’t have any; lettuce, I feel, is merely water in solid form anyway and so it didn’t really matter) and red onion slices marinated in lime juice. I also made her Caramelised Garlic Yoghurt Sauce to go with it.
Lush. There are no pictures, as I scoffed the evidence. I’m including a picture I got from the internet that looks a bit like it.
For the recipe you will need:
12 skinless and boneless chicken thighs I used four, bone-in.
100 ml olive oil I used 50 ml, and it was far too much. 25 ml would be better.
4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and grated Frozen garlic, pre-minced.
2 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves Forgot them, whoops.
2 tsps cumin
1 tsp ground coriander Didn’t have any.
1 tsp dried chilli flakes Dropped the jar and spilled them all on the floor.
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg As if. From a jar.
2 tsps sea salt flakes
lettuce leaves She says iceberg in the method, but seriously, lettuce is lettuce.
Get a resealable freezer bag and put the thighs in it. Grate in the zest and squeeze the juice of two lemons into the bag, and add the oil, garlic, and everything else except the lettuce leaves.
Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least six hours, or up to a day.
Cook’s note – No way could I wait six whole hours for this. I think I managed about three? Still tasted nice. It did need the heat of the chilli flakes, but I managed to waste all of mine by merrily throwing the jar all over the kitchen. I’ll be finding them for months.
When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees C. While this is heating up, take chicken from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
Tip the chicken into a roasting tin, careful to make sure that they are side by side, not on top of each other. Roast for 30 mins until cooked through and golden on top.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare your veggies. I shredded some lettuce and marinaded some red onion slices in lime juice for about 20 mins. I had made the garlic sauce earlier – roast a garlic bulb in a 220 degree oven for 45 mins to an hour, sliced at the stem to expose the cloves, wrapped in a tin foil parcel. When cooled, squeeze into Greek yoghurt and mix.) I heated some pitta bread and loaded them up with lettuce and onions.
When the chicken is cooked, remove from oven. I sliced up mine and made pitta from them, adding the sauce on top of the sliced chicken. You can serve them whole, on shredded iceberg lettuce and with lemon wedges and cucumbers. I personally feel that cucumbers are the Devil’s Own Vegetable, so I will never do that, but to each their own.
This was delicious, and something I will definitely make again. Next time I’ll make sure that I add the chilli flakes. I’m not a heat freak, but this could do with a bit of spice. Failing that, I could make Nigella’s Ginger, Chilli and Garlic Sauce but that may be just a little bit too hot!