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Delicious and Versatile Middle Eastern Chicken

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Adjust Servings:
1 yellow Onion wedges
300g Chicken Fillet 2 breasts
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Enough to cover chicken Cold water
2tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Black Pepper freshly ground
1 tsp Salt
4 tbsp Lemon Juice or 3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic Minced
2 tsp Cumin Powder

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Delicious and Versatile Middle Eastern Chicken

Delicious and versatile Chicken to spice up your meals!

  • Serves 2
  • Easy


  • Marinade



We are supposed to be in Turkey for out much awaited 2 week holidays now. But I guess that will have to wait with Covid-19 and all. Doesn’t mean that we cannot have a little taste of Turkey or Middle East at home in tropical Singapore…. It helps that I have a pretty well stocked kitchen in terms of spices and herbs as we do love Middle Eastern cuisine and make some simple dishes from time to time. I found this Middle Eastern Chicken recipe here and decided to give it a shot as I have all the ingredients and it looks like it will be good. This recipe uses paprika, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper and lemon juice. I adapted it by soaking in baking soda first and also choosing other methods of cooking.

You can use skinless chicken breasts or fillets like I did (and I will show you how it still turned out succulent), or you can use any cut of the chicken in any form even a whole chicken roasted in the oven. Depending on what chicken cuts you use, you can bake, grill, pan fry or air fry this recipe depending on what your situation calls for. I have a 90cm so unless my oven is on, or I am bulk cooking or cooking a whole chicken, I will not use it. I will prefer to use just my stove top grill or bbq or toaster or air fryer to keep things fast and save the power.

If you are using chicken breasts, you will definitely want to add baking soda. If you saw my other chicken fillet recipes like Lemongrass Chicken Fillet or my Chicken Bulgogi you will know that this is my favourite meat tenderiser now. In this recipe however, because of the lemon juice, I decided to soak the meat in baking soda solution for 15 minutes first, before rinsing off then proceeding to marinate. I did not want the effects of the baking soda, an alkali, to be affected by the lemon juice in the recipe. And it worked well. You can also add baking soda if you use other chicken parts of course but it may not really be necessary.

I marinated the chicken overnight (2 hours should also suffice) and it was very succulent and tasty. This Middle Eastern Chicken goes well in a sandwich, on a salad, with rice or cous cous, in a pita bread, in a wrap, wrapped in lettuce leaves, or on pizzas, pasta salad, etc… and gives your meals an exotic delicious twist. It is definitely a keeper! And because it is so versatile, you can just bulk cook (then I will recommend turning on that oven) or bulk marinade and store portions in little bags with marinade in freezer and cook them whenever you need (since it is so easy to cook anyway).

The smokey and spiced (not spicy hot) flavourful pieces are just so aromatic and addictive. Try it and you will not regret. Enjoy!!!

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15 min

Tenderise Chicken

Add baking soda to chicken and add water to fully submerge the chicken fillets for about 15 minutes.
After which, remove the chicken, rinse and pat dry.
Transfer to a container with lid.


Prepare the marinade

Combine all ingredients in the marinade and stir well to form an even mixture.


Marinade chicken

Pour marinade over chicken and onions and ensure that every piece is evenly coated.
Cover and leave in fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours.


Grill or Pan Fry or Bake or Air Fry or Toast

Heat non-stick pan or grill up and when hot, add chicken one piece at a time on one side.
If not using a non-stick pan, add some oil to pan.
Cook each side for 3-4 minutes.

If using air fryer or toaster oven, line the chicken fillets on the tray in a single layer. Cook at 200C for 10 min or until slightly browned and flip other side and cook for 5-8 minutes.

If using other parts or cuts like chicken drumsticks with bones or whole chicken, adjust the cooking times appropriately. Chicken drumsticks will take about 10-12 minutes each side at 200C in air fryer


Dish out and serve

Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before slicing (if you intend to slice).


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