Chicken Shawarma and roasted cauliflower rice with parsley, dried apricots and cranberries.
I’m in heaven. This is my latest summer dish—I eat a huge bowl of the jeweled cauliflower rice with a generous serving of lemon yogurt on top and a tall glass of sparkling water, and I’m good. The chicken is for the omnivores; occasionally I toss in a small slice of spice-coated chicken on top of my plate. But it’s the rice, apricots, and yogurt that send me over the moon.
There’s a healthy list of spices in this recipe, which was inspired by this chicken shawarma recipe. I did leave out black pepper, but feel free to add a teaspoon of ground black pepper to the spice blend.
One last thing: here’s a video on two ways to smash garlic. I remove the skin by pressing the garlic cloves with a knife, and then toss the garlic in the food processor with the spices.
If it’s not summer by you, or you don’t have a grill, feel free to cook the chicken in the broiler using the same technique and time as the grill instructions below.
I usually have whole coriander seeds on hand, and then grind them about halfway to powder consistency. This gives the chicken a bit of a crunch once it’s grilled. If you prefer no crunch, grind the coriander and the other whole spices to a powder for a smooth paste. Whole spices are more potent than pre-ground spices, but it means a bit more work on your part. You can use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder (coffee bean grinder) to grind the whole spices into a powder. Or just use the pre-ground versions.
- 8 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons tumeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt (or use 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons high heat oil
- 2 1/2 pounds (1.1 kg) chicken thighs, boned and skinned
- Preheat your grill to around 500ºF (230ºC, or gas mark 8).
- Place the garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, allspice, salt and oil in a food processor and pulse until you have a paste. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle or a blender.
- Trim the chicken of excess fat and coat it with the spice paste.
- Grill the chicken for about 8 minutes on each side.
- Slice and serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days.
Serves 4 to 6
I use Turkish, unsulphured apricots, which is why mine are a bit darker than most. For the cranberries, I use dried cranberries with no sugar added, and sweetened with apple juice and a bit of sunflower oil added to it.
- 4 cups roasted cauliflower rice (from my SCD book or try this recipe)
- 1/2 cup (66 g) dried apricots, minced
- 1/2 cup (60 g) dried cranberries, minced
- 1/2 cup (30 g) parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- Combine the rice with the apricots, cranberries, and parsley.
- Add the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to your liking, and blend well.
- Serve with lemon yogurt or fresh lemon wedges.
Serves 4 to 6
To make this lactose-free, culture your yogurt for 24 hours (SCD-style) or use dairy-free yogurt.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon parsley, minced (optional)
Combine all the ingredients and blend well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.