Crispy oven-baked chicken shawarma wing recipe is served with our favorite garlicky lemon coriander sauce. Perfect for game day or an easy weeknight dinner.
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Shawarma Spice Rub
There is a lot of debate about what is traditional in shawarma. A Middle Eastern spice blend, of course, has many of the spices you might associate with Turkish or Arab foods. Cumin, coriander, and turmeric. And that is where recipes deviate.
In our recipe, the shawarma spice rub contains cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic powder, cinnamon, a pinch of clove and black pepper for heat. It is also common to see allspice, cayenne or paprika.
While these are all staples in our house I find the allspice gives too much 'pumpkin pie spice' feeling when combined with cinnamon. And the paprika turns the chicken orange while being overwhelmed by the stronger turmeric and coriander flavors so we skip it.
As for the cayenne... we love spicy foods but we liked that these wings are not spicy. It is a nice change from the typical buffalo chicken wing.
This is a great game day recipe for a crowd so I sticking with black pepper makes in universally appealing. But by all means, give it a try if you like things on the spicy side!
How to Make Crispy Oven Baked Wings
Making crispy oven baked wings is easy, but preparing the chicken properly is the most important part of the process.
Brine Your Chicken Wings
While not technically required, we highly recommend that you brine your chicken wings. Brining ensures the meat stays juicy, which is important when cooking such small pieces at high temperatures.
Read more about why you should brine and a tutorial here.
Thoroughly Dry for Crispy Skin
Next, line a sheet pan with paper towels and lay out the drained wings. Gently pat them dry. We recommend giving them a few extra minutes to dry out. Even if you skip the brine you need to pat the wings dry.
Crispy wings start with dry skin. Additionally, the spice rub will adhere better to dry chicken skin.
Prepare the Dry Rub
Combine the dry spices with the baking powder in a Ziploc style bag or a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly coat the chicken wings with the dry rub. Discard any excess rub.
Bake the Chicken Wings
Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment (or foil) spread the wings evenly on the sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes. Turning halfway through.
The baking powder in the dry rub begins the break down the peptide bonds on the skin and jumpstarting the browning process, meaning the wings will get crispier faster.
Wings are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 F and the outside is brown and crispy.
Make Your Dipping Sauce
While the chicken wings are baking, make the dipping sauce. The sauce gets better over time so making in advance is also an option.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Spin for 60-90 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Should You Bake Wings on a Wire Rack or Directly on the Pan
There has been a lot of information lately on Pinterest and around the internet saying that baking on a wire rack yields a crispier baked wing.
I tested this recipe with the chicken wing on a wire rack and directly on the baking sheet. I found that when coated with baking powder the direct contact with the baking sheet creates the crispiest chicken skin.
Also, the parchment paper isn't necessary it makes the clean up the tumeric from the dry rub much easier. It doesn't affect the crispiness of the wing.
What to Serve with Wings
In addition to serving with our lemon and coriander yogurt dipping sauce, we like to add pickled watermelon radishes and carrot sticks to the mix.
Shawarma Chicken Wings
- Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. (see notes for grilling instructions).
- Using a paper towel blot chicken wings dry. Combine baking powder and spices in a ziploc bag or large bowl. Toss chicken wings in spice mixture to coat evenly.
- Prepare a large sheet pan by covering with foil and spraying with cooking spray. Place chicken on a sheet pan and bake 25-35 minutes turning halfway through. The chicken should reach 165 degrees and be crispy on the outside.
Lemon & Coriander Dip
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Spin for 60-90 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place chicken wings on a platter. Serve with dip on the side.
- Preheat gas grill on medium high heat
- Place chicken on grill and turn down to medium
- Cook chicken,flipping halfway through, until chicken reaches 165 degrees (about 12-14 minutes)
- Substitute dairy-free (plain unsweetened) yogurt