Skillet Chicken With Cumin, Paprika and Mint

Skillet Chicken With Cumin, Paprika and Mint

Chicken shawarma, a rotisserie favorite heady with spice and flavor, is usually cooked on a spit, then shaved into sandwiches and salads. But it also belongs on a bed of rice, cooked in a pan for a filling family meal that’s easy to return to again and again. White rice does a fine job rounding out this meal, and cooks quickly. But, if brown rice is more your speed, look for the sprouted short-grain variety, which cooks faster than regular brown rice and reaches al dente just as the chicken begins to split into tender morsels. (To cook the rice even faster, soak it while you marinate the chicken.) Cooking this on the stove yields crisp rice bits along the bottom of the pan, especially nice against the tender, flavorful chicken. Since even the best shawarma is only as good as its bright flavors, be generous with mint, parsley, yogurt and lime: the more, the better.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Combine the lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and turmeric in a large resealable plastic bag along with the chicken pieces. Seal and shake the bag to coat chicken and distribute the spices evenly. Set aside for 30 minutes, or refrigerate up to overnight.
  2. Step 2

    Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and cook until lightly golden, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
  3. Step 3

    Add the onion to the pan, and stir to coat. Decrease heat to medium and cook until softening, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and remaining salt, and stir to coat. Add the boiling water; stir, cover and cook until the liquid is partly absorbed, 10 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon stick and raisins, top with the chicken thighs and their juices, and continue cooking, covered, over medium heat, until the rice is al dente and the chicken is completely tender, about 25 minutes more.
  4. Step 4

    Remove from the heat and scatter the mint and parsley all over the top. Serve warm, with yogurt and lime.