Baked Chicken Shawarma and Pilaf

If you have a child you know that sometimes your greatest victories in the kitchen come simply from not hearing the words, “This is too…(insert: spicy, hot, cold, squishy, weird, or just plain not good).”

Sometimes you expect to hear them, and just don’t care anymore. That, people, was last night for me. I made Baked Chicken Shawarma and Rice Pilaf.  While I was mixing together the spice rub that included coriander, cardamom, paprika, and cumin it occurred to me that I would probably snap if I had to listen to son j complain about anything. At all. But I’ll be damned if I was going to change the menu. I’d been looking forward to this dish for over a week.

I don’t do short-order cook. You don’t like it? Tough.  Three bites is required of everything…even if you think you hate it, or if you hated it last time. I can’t count the number of times j’s disliked something one week, only to scarf it down two weeks later. That’s why I put things on repeat.

But last night I wanted to cook something I wanted. Something out of my usual range, but still do-able after a day at work.

Wow was this good…and easy. And good. Did I mention good? Oh, and it’s even better the next day. I had some leftovers for my lunch. (And as I write this I remember that there’s some left in the fridge, so I will be inhaling that soon). Last night I dished it out, some chicken and some of the rice/chickpea mix, and I waited to utter the words, “Then make yourself a peanut butter sandwich!”

I didn’t have to. He ate it, all of it, without complaining. He even said he liked the spices and that I should have made it hotter (the recipe has cayenne pepper as an option, but I didn’t use it).

Sometimes just when you need it the universe throws you a bone.

Recipe notes: the author says very plainly that this is not a traditional shawarma recipe so if that’s what you’re looking for keep looking. The rice and chickpea pilaf is a creation (not mine) based on a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi from the cookbook Jerusalem.  This is the same blog I got the Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice dish which my husband loves, so I think I will checking it more!

Oh, also, I used lime juice instead of lemon, because I wanted to save my organic lemons from my tree for martinis. 



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