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I get why Tony Stark wanted to go for schwarma now

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.

2 lemons

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!


Recipe recommendation

I love cooking because I love eating. I love eating so much that I really have to work hard in 2016 to shift a ton of weight, but that is another series of angsty blog posts for you to skip over.

It’s Christmas time, and for the last few years I’ve found myself making this gorgeous popcorn recipe I found on Buzzfeed. Before I tried this, I’d never really thought of mixing sweet and savoury flavours together before. Being British I could have either maple syrup or bacon, not both together! Something about this recipe caught my eye though, and I gave it a whirl.

(Well, I gave it a whirl after I converted the American measurements into British measurements, anyway. Fahrenheit to Celsius, cups to milliliters, it takes a little time.  Oh look at us America. Two nations, divided by a completely ridiculous aversion to the metric system.)

Bacon-Peanut Caramel Corn

Makes 16 cups.

Cups? Who measures popcorn in cups?

½ cup popping corn kernels (or use 16 cups pre-popped popcorn)
1 tablespoon canola oil     I didn’t bother with this as I bought the popcorn.
1 lb sliced bacon     I just used one packet.
1 ¼ cup pure maple syrup   This is one small bottle and a third of another.
2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts  I used a pack of unsalted cashews
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper  Whatever you do, don’t use any more!
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon kosher salt  Is this a thing in America? I just used sea salt.

Special equipment
Large (at least 4 quart) sauce pot with lid (if using pre-popped corn, you won’t need this)
Large (at least 4 quart) heatproof mixing bowl
Large skillet  Frying pan, for those of us across the pond. 
2 large baking sheets
Parchment paper or wax paper  Baking or greaseproof paper. 

1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 300°F.  150 degrees C. 

2. To make popcorn:
In a large sauce pot, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-low heat, then add popping corn kernels. Cover the pot, and shake to coat the kernals with oil. In about a minute, kernels will start to pop. Shake the pot, still over medium-low heat, occasionally. When the popping sound has slowed to less than 1 pop every 10 seconds, turn the heat off and uncover the pot. Pour popped corn out into the large, heatproof mixing bowl, discarding any unpopped kernels.

I used 200g of pre-popped popcorn, or two large bags from the supermarket.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook half the bacon until the fat has rendered out and the meat is crispy. Remove cooked bacon from skillet and allow to cool on a plate or cutting board, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the rest of the bacon to the skillet, and repeat. Set aside the cooked bacon, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.

4. With the skillet still over medium heat, add the maple syrup, peanuts, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and kosher salt, stirring to combine. Heat the mixture for about a minute, until it starts to bubble, then remove from heat and set aside.

5. Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, cut it into large strips (about 1 inch long and ¼ inch wide). Add bacon to the popcorn in the large mixing bowl, then pour the maple syrup mixture on top. Mix with a heatproof spoon or spatula, until all the popcorn is evenly coated with the maple syrup mixture.

6. Spread the popcorn out over the two baking sheets, and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Popcorn may feel slightly soggy but will crisp as it cools.

Let the popcorn cool completely on the baking sheets (if you put it in the airtight containers to early, it’ll be soggy). Once it’s cool, divide into gift jars and cover. Popcorn will keep for five to seven days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Good luck trying to make this last five to seven days. It is so delicious it will barely last five hours! It makes a lot, but trust me, you’ll eat it all.