Shawarma-spiced chicken pitas with tahini-yogurt sauce recipe

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Weeknights are the time to break out the boneless, skinless chicken thighs—there’s no prep, they’re fast-cooking, and they take beautifully to spices, like the blend featured here. Cooked thighs also keep well in the fridge, making this a good candidate for tomorrow’s lunch. Think about doubling the tahini sauce, because it’s killer on roasted vegetables (carrots and winter squash especially), burgers, and, of course, more chicken.

  • Yield: 4


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 4 pitas
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon grated garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint, plus more for serving
  • ½ large English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch-thick half-moons (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • ¾ cup small cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (about 5 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon of the kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Spread the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F, 12 to 15 minutes. Wrap the pitas in aluminum foil and warm them in the oven during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, garlic, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper until incorporated. Fold in the dill and mint.
  4. In another medium bowl, toss together the cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  5. Thinly slice the chicken. Put a warm pita on each plate, followed by the chicken and, on top, the tomato-cucumber salad. Drizzle each plate with some tahini-yogurt sauce, and top with dill and mint. Serve with the remaining tahini-yogurt sauce on the side.

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