For this recipe, we’re taking you on a trip to the Middle East! No bags, passports, or carry-on-sized liquids required...because we’re transporting you there from the comfort of your very own kitchen. This Persian-inspired dish is deeply satisfying and positively bursting with flavor. Chicken is marinated in yogurt and warm spices, then seared to golden, juicy perfection. On the side, there’s spiced Basmati rice bejeweled with dried cherries, pistachios, and cilantro, plus a bevvy of roasted veggies. The best part, however, might just be the garlicky white sauce drizzled on top. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself!
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Shawarma Spice Blend
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry all produce. Mince garlic. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, 1 TBSP olive oil, half the garlic, 1 tsp Shawarma Spice, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. (For 4 servings, use 2 TBSP olive oil, 2 tsp Shawarma Spice, and 2 tsp salt.) Add chicken and turn to coat. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
While chicken marinates, halve, peel, and cut onion into ½-inch-thick wedges; mince a few wedges until you have 2 TBSP (¼ cup for 4 servings). Drain and rinse chickpeas; pat very dry with paper towels. Chop cilantro leaves and stems. Roughly chop pistachios.
Toss onion wedges, chickpeas, and tomatoes on a baking sheet with a large drizzle of olive oil, 1 tsp Shawarma Spice (2 tsp for 4 servings; you’ll use the rest later), salt, and pepper. Roast, tossing halfway through, until chickpeas are crispy and veggies are tender, about 20 minutes. (For 4, divide between 2 baking sheets; swap rack positions halfway through roasting.) TIP: It’s natural for some chickpeas to pop as they roast.
Meanwhile, melt 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings) in a small pot over medium-high heat. (For 4, use a medium pot.) Add dried cherries, minced onion, half the pistachios, remaining Shawarma Spice, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 1 minute. Stir in rice, ¾ cup water (1½ cups for 4), and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, 15-18 minutes. Keep covered off heat.
While rice cooks, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large, preferably nonstick, pan over medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade; allow excess to drip off. Add chicken to pan and cook until browned and cooked through, 6-8 minutes per side. (TIP: Medium heat is key in preventing the marinade from burning. If chicken begins to brown too quickly, lower the heat.) Turn off heat; transfer to a cutting board. Once cool enough to handle, slice chicken crosswise.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream and remaining garlic to taste. Stir in water, 1 tsp at a time, until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency. Season with salt. Fluff rice with a fork; stir in 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings), half the cilantro, salt, and pepper. Divide rice between plates; top with chicken and veggies. Drizzle with sauce; top with remaining pistachios and cilantro.