As I stood in the grocery store staring blankly at the rotisserie chicken, I had an epiphany: What if I could take this simple chicken and transform it into an easy, but exciting, weeknight dinner. Instead of store-bought hummus, I have a simple trick to transform a can of chickpeas into a smooth and velvety hummus, too.
My trick for super creamy hummus from canned chickpeas is to simmer them with baking soda, which helps break down the skins on each chickpea, ensuring you get that crave-worthy, super smooth hummus. Don’t want to make hummus bowls? You can also turn the chicken into pita sandwiches, or add that crispy chicken on top of a big green salad.
By shredding up the chicken, reheating it in some olive oil and adding shawarma spices, you get a flavorful and bright chicken with tons of crispy edges you can nestle on top of that easy, creamy hummus. It’s a genius (but uncomplicated) way to make an exciting weeknight meal.
Notes: To make getting dinner together a little easier, shred the rotisserie chicken as soon as you bring it home from the store and and place in a container in the fridge until ready to use. You can make the hummus ahead of time and store in the fridge for 1-2 days in an airtight container. Many stores carry shawarma spice mix these days, but if you cannot find it, you can also make your own (also see recipe below).
For the hummus:
- 15.5 oz can chickpeas (make sure to reserve the liquid)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup tahini
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 pinch cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
For the shawarma chicken:
- 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded into large pieces
- 1/3 cup olive oil plus 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp shawarma spice mix
- kosher salt
- extra virgin olive oil
- Harissa , optional
- chopped parsley
- za’atar, paprika, and/or cumin
- warm pita
For the shawarma spice mix:
- 3 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ Tbsp ground turmeric
- 1Tbsp ground coriander
- 1Tbsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp hot paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- To make the hummus: Bring the chickpeas, the chickpea liquid, baking soda and about 1/2 cup of water in a medium pot to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Immediately turn the heat down to low and skim any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are very soft, about 10 minutes.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Drain the chickpeas very well and reserve all the cooking liquid.
- Place the chickpeas and garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and blend on high until smooth, scraping down the bowl half way through, about 2 minutes.
- Add the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt and about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the beans and process until very smooth and light in color, at least 2 minutes. The texture should be like soft serve ice cream. If it looks too thick then add more cooking liquid (or water). If the hummus is still warm, it will get thicker as it cools so keep that in mind. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice to your taste.
- For the chicken: Heat 1/3 cup of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add all the shredded chicken and shawarma spice.
- Toss until the chicken is coated with spices and then add 3 more Tbsp of olive oil, allow to cook, undisturbed for 2 minutes. This is how you’ll get those crispy edges on the chicken. Season with kosher salt and toss again.
- To assemble: Plate the hummus by swirling it onto a serving dish making a well in the middle. Add the chicken, drizzle with additional olive oil, garnish with harissa, za’atar, and chopped parsley. Serve with warm pita.
To make shawarma spice:
- Combine spices in a bowl and store in an airtight container.