I am not one to follow trends, which means I have not gotten into the whole grain bowl or smoothie bowl movement. No particular reason never crossed my mind or made my tastebuds sing; until I saw Gina of Skinny Taste’s Shawarma Chicken Bowls. Shawarma, oh yes! I set out to make her recipe and unfortunately, did not have half of the ingredients which was a surprise, but I did not let that stop me. Instead, I improvised and came up with the recipe for Middle Eastern Chicken Bowls. By the way, I have since picked up the ingredients for Gina’s recipe, and it is AMAZING!
We are digging on this Middle Eastern Chicken Bowl recipe, and it has become a staple at our house as in at least once a week. Super easy to put together, and super tasty to eat. What I love about it besides the marinade for the chicken is that I can toss anything into the bowl with the grilled chicken. Typically, I add the same ingredients, cucumbers, tomatoes, and chickpeas along with savory yogurt. If I have sprouts laying around, I will toss those in or even grate in some carrot; you can get as crazy as you want. I do serve everything on couscous instead of quinoa or rice, you know to keep with the Middle Eastern theme. Plus, I find couscous much more attractive. A dollop of savory yogurt and harissa, and you can call this recipe satisfaction in a bowl!
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Middle Eastern Chicken Bowls
I marinade the chicken overnight as the flavor is really, well, more flavorful. If you do not have the time to toss everything into a Ziploc before going to bed, then at least marinade it for 4 hours. You want the flavors to sing when grilled!
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (has a high heat threshold for grilling)
2 lemons juiced
4 large cloves of garlic, minced finely
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons Aleppo flakes
2 teaspoons zahtar
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mint, chopped
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or more if you like spicy
kosher salt, to taste
4 cups of prepared couscous
1/4 of a pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 large cucumber, thinly sliced
1 15 ounces can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
harissa, optional, but really good
In a large Ziploc place the chicken, grapeseed oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, Aleppo flakes, and zahtar. Seal and shake to mix well.
Place into the refrigerator at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Combine the yogurt, mint, and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir, then season to taste with salt and stir in the Aleppo pepper flakes. I do this step about an hour before serving, or even earlier in the day.
30 minutes before grilling the chicken, take the chicken out of the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature. This helps the chicken grill evenly.
Preheat the grill to 425.
Place the chicken onto the grill and cook until the chicken loosens up on the grill, about 3 – 5 minutes. Flip.
Continue cooking until the chicken reaches 165 internally – use a meat thermometer to test.
Remove from the grill and let sit for 5 minutes, then slice thinly.
To serve, place some couscous into a bowl, top with the chicken, cucumbers, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Add some of the savory yogurt.