"Have you ever tried shawarma...I don't know what it is, but I know I want to try it." This was one of the ending lines of the first Avengers films. That particular scene takes place in NYC.
Although I've lived my whole live in and around NYC, I too had never had shawarma up until this point. What made that line so funny at the end of the movie was its complete randomness.
That and the word shawarma is a pretty interesting sounding word as well, which added to the comedic value of that scene. I can't think of too many foods that would have sounded that funny at that moment in the movie.
Without needing to save the world, I picked up this bag on a whim since it was something that I had not previously seen before. Well, I've never had shawarma before, but now I know I really like it. In my pound and a half bag of pre-marinaded meat, I got three skinless chicken thighs.
If I had to criticize one thing, it's that these should probably be cut into something closer to a kabob sized slices. Some areas of the thighs were quite thick, others were quite thin. If you are willing to be careful with your knife I would advise you to try to get these to a more even thickness.
Most often, shawarma is prepared on a spit. Not exactly what most home cooks would have access to. None the less, I reached for my cast iron skillet to give these a good sear.
The more of a crust these developed, the tastier they were. Perhaps the heat from cooking it over high heat was releasing the spices. Now, they don't exactly tell you what spices they might have used, but I can tell you that turmeric is certainly one.
My pan was undoubtedly more yellow that when it started. There was a bit of heat but a lot of nice familiar flavors too.
Now, serving this can be done in the same way that gyro can be served: on a plate or perhaps as a sandwich. I used what I had and used a Trader Joe's Garlic Naan. With that I had some lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and some homemade shawarma sauce.
For $6.82 or $4.49 per pound this was easy as can be. The more of a crust you get on these the better. When I do buy these again, I'll just invest the time into a bit of knife work. I'm sure the oven directions will result in a nice chicken as well. But for me, there is something about the taste of seared meat that can't quite be replicated in the oven.
Would I buy this again? Oh yes, Trader Joe's Shawarma Chicken Thighs are probably going to be a regular purchase. They are very different from their other chicken options. With the right sides it made for a delightful meal.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The package of Trader Joe's Shawarma Chicken Thighs:
The nutritional information:
How to prepare:
After being cooked you get:
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
The Bottom Line
Don’t forget to share your thoughts by going to the “user review” at the bottom of the box (click on the number of stars you believe this product deserves) and leave a comment below.
You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to see what I’m up to.
Trader Joe's Shawarma Chicken Thighs
Product Name: Trader Joe's Shawarma Chicken Thighs
Product Description: Trader Joe's Shawarma Chicken Thighs are a well seasoned option in the meat aisle.
Price: $4.49 per pound
Trader Joe's Shawarma Chicken Thighs are a gem in the refrigerated aisle.
- Trader Joe's Shawarma Chicken Thighs are super flavorful, moist, and tasty chicken thighs.
- Probably the best pre-marinated items available at Trader Joe's.
- The thighs are uneven which leads to over/under cooking.
- These would be more successful if they were sliced into kabob sized slices.
This looks yummy and like a great option when we're feeling some chicken shawarma!!
It's an easy option Jess! I highly recommend. Thanks for taking the time and stopping by!
I think I'm going to have to try some of these Trader Joe's chicken thigh products. I'm just not terribly fond of thigh dark meat. I find some thigh meat to sort of be fatty or globby.
Your description of this and your pictures make it look so incredibly yummy. It's going on my must-try list. Thx!
I made this last night, in the oven. Because they're skinless they aren't too fatty. They were supermoist, but I also had issues with them cooking unevenly. A couple of pieces had to be returned to the oven a couple of times, but they finally cooked up, and the thinner parts surprisingly weren't overcooked or rubbery.
Would definitely buy these again.
Hey Drake! When I buy this now, I actually slice them thin before cooking that way there is more surface area exposed to heat. My hands get messy, but its beats undercooked chicken any day. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts!
Thank you so much for this review and for the tip about slicing the chicken prior to cooking! I literally stood in the meat section at TJ's, debating on whether to purchase this and after seeing your recommendation, decided to give it a try. You were absolutely right - the sauce is great (not too spicy) and the meat cooked very evenly after I cubed it before cooking. I too made gyros and they were delish...I will definitely be purchasing this again, thanks!!
Hey Andrea! Thanks so much for taking the time to give me feedback! I'm glad the cubing trick worked for you. I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to be the only one with that issue. Glad I could help and I hope you stop by again!
Penelope Tucker says
Another home run suggestion from you! I had worried that the chicken shawarma night be too spicy for me, but it was packed with flavor without making my tongue hurt. I didn’t do anything exotic with the pairings...basically followed your lead. The comment I heard at the dinner table was this was the best meal they had eaten in a month. Hope TJs doesn’t treat this as a summer only item, I think it will be requested often.
Hey Penelope! Thanks for taking the time and sharing what you thought. I'm glad I could help :). Also, it seems to be a regular item. It's been around since January so I'm hoping that they keep this. When I don't see it, it is usually sold out (which is a good thing). Thanks so much for stopping by!
randall the ostrich says
Any tips on how to cook this on a cast iron skillet (or if easier a regular large skillet)?
Hey Randall! I just made this the other night. I highly recommend cutting this up to ensure even cooking. The thighs are uneven in thickness. I made mine into 1" cubes. Hot pan with a bit of oil (unless you have a really well seasoned cast iron skillet). Let me know if you need any other clarification!
hi is that nutrition 160 calories for 4oz of cooked thighs or 4oz of raw? im counting caloires so i need to know thanks
Hey JB! I'm not qualified to answer that question. However, I did find this article written in the Washington Post (who seems far more qualified) that deals with the answer to your question. You can see the article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/qanda-are-meat-nutrition-labels-based-on-raw-or-cooked-weight/2014/02/04/b6f5e2b4-89c0-11e3-916e-e01534b1e132_story.html?utm_term=.07a486f90b7f
These are really great - and a top tip for anyone reading, slice some good quality pickles (ideally middle eastern ones eg Beit Hashita) to add in there. The spice marinade + garlic sauce + pickle is the secret weapon for the ultimate shawarma taouk sandwich. If by any chance you’ve ever eaten @ Beirut Express in Edgware Road in London, you’ll know what I mean. Also, goes without saying - the outdoor grill is a GREAT place to cook these.
So I’ve been broiling them and turning over to broil the other side. About 4-5 minutes each side. Amazing!!!!
Amy Alexander says
I find this product to feel chemically over tenderized, and poorly spiced- salty. I love salt but missed a deep flavor. Wouldn't buy again. Too processed.
Thanks for sharing Amy!