This mouthwatering Middle Eastern Chicken is marinated overnight with fresh veggies and warm spices, then baked to juicy perfection — it’s a surefire winner! Serve it up with all your favorite sides for a delicious, filling dinner that’ll have everyone asking for seconds.

Middle Eastern chicken legs

What Is Middle Eastern Chicken? 

Middle Eastern chicken consists of chicken legs marinated in a yogurt sauce with warm Middle Eastern spices. A favorite recipe from our childhood, it features bold flavors in a nutritious, easy-to-make recipe. We serve it over Vermicelli rice with a side of cucumber & tomato salad, but it pairs perfectly with all your favorite sides for a complete meal the whole family will love! 

Ingredients You’ll Need 

Made with a unique combination of veggies, herbs, and spices, this Middle Eastern chicken is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before! Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Chicken – We use chicken legs. The dark meat creates extra flavor and the ultimate juicy texture. 
  • Vegetables – Roma tomatoes, red onion, garlic, and tomato paste are blended into the marinade for extra nutrients and a slightly tangy taste. 
  • Herbs – Fresh parsley and cilantro are included to brighten the flavor. 
  • Olive Oil – In addition to adding healthy fats, this helps combine the ingredients and cling to the chicken, allowing it to soak up the marinade. 
  • Yogurt – For a thick, creamy sauce we highly recommend using full-fat plain yogurt, but any percentage you have on hand will work. 
  • Spices – A combination of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, sumac, turmeric, and smoked paprika takes this chicken to the next level with unbelievable flavor. 
raw chicken legs

How to Make the Best Middle Eastern Chicken 

Admittedly, you have to plan ahead of time to make this recipe, but it’s completely worth the wait! The process of marinating the chicken ensures it stays tender and juicy while keeping the skin extra golden and crisp. Here’s what to do: 

  1. Form the Marinade. In the bowl of a food processor, add all of the ingredients except for the chicken. Pulse until a smooth consistency is formed. 
  2. Marinate. Place the chicken in a sealable bag or airtight container, and pour the sauce mixture on top. Marinate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. 
  3. Bake. Place the chicken on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and cover it with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Then, remove the foil, and continue to bake until the top of the chicken is golden and crisp. 
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03/13/2024 02:04 pm GMT
Middle Eastern Chicken

Serving Suggestions

As mentioned, we serve this Middle Eastern chicken over vermicelli rice and cucumber & tomato salad. However, it pairs amazingly with all your favorite sides such as: 

Common Questions

Can I make Middle Eastern chicken ahead of time? 

Yes, once cooked Middle Eastern chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

Can I use chicken breasts instead? 

Sure! The flavor of the dish will change slightly, but it will still be super tasty. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the oven as the baking time is likely to change as well. 

Can I make this recipe dairy-free? 

To make this Middle Eastern chicken dairy-free, simply use dairy-free yogurt. 

Middle Eastern chicken over vermicelli rice with tomato and cucumber salad on the side

More Flavorful Chicken Recipes

Looking for other ways to spice up your meals made with chicken? We have plenty of options that are as easy as they are tasty!

Middle Eastern chicken legs

Middle Eastern Chicken

5 from 18 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Marinade Time: 2 hours
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Made with fresh veggies and warm spices, this Middle Eastern Chicken is marinated overnight and baked to juicy perfection. Serve it with all your favorite sides for a delicious, filling dinner!

Ingredients  

  • 1 large Roma tomato
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 6 chicken legs thigh and drumstick, bone-in, skin-on

Instructions 

  • Add all of the ingredients except for the chicken to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a smooth consistency is formed.
    1 large Roma tomato, 1/2 red onion, 1 red bell pepper, 4 cloves garlic, 1/3 cup fresh parsley, 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup tomato paste, 2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon sumac, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Place the chicken in a sealable bag or airtight container, and coat it with the veggie mixture. Marinate in the fridge overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours.
    6 chicken legs
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the chicken on the baking sheet, and cover it with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crisp.
  • Serve over Vermicelli rice with a side of cucumber & tomato salad, if desired.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1625IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

5 from 18 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We just finished this dinner and it was simply amazing. I made it almost as written – I had to make some substitutions when I discovered that I didn’t have ingredients in the refrigerator that I thought I did. I subbed sour cream for the yogurt and had to use dried parsley because my fresh bunch wasn’t so fresh any more, but this was the best chicken that we have ever had. My husband grilled the chicken, so it was easy-peasy for me. We can’t wait to serve this again!

    1. We’re so glad you were able to make it work for you, Katherine! Thank you for trying it out and taking the time to leave your feedback. 😊

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

  2. Question: if we leave out the cilantro, coriander and yoghurt, is it still worth making?? Your recipes are ALL delicious and I’d still like to try but – allergies. Or can we replace the spice with cumin? And just add more parsley and leave out the dairy?
    Thank you for incredible and inspiring dishes!!

  3. 5 stars
    100 Stars! This was absolutely fantastic!!! I used 4 bone chicken breast and doubled everything! WOW WOW WOW! Thank you so much for this recipe, we all agreed it’s #1 and a keeper! Served it with vermicelli rice. Cheers from South Central Texas!

  4. 5 stars
    So delicious and fool-proof! Loved the flavour and nutritious ingredients! Served with rice and your Egyptian cucumber and tomato salad and it was a hit with the fam! Also delicious with roti/ Lebanese bread!

  5. 5 stars
    I like to try new ethnic foods and I have never tried Egyptian. We did this chicken for dinner and my family couldn’t get enough of it. I’ve been following you guys on Facebook and the recipes I’ve tried from you ladies are phenomenal. I think I’m in love with Egyptian cuisine.

    1. This made our day! Thank you so much for following along and trying out our recipe. We hope you continue to enjoy more options!

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

  6. 5 stars
    Made this last night. Would give it 10 stars if I could. Very easy to prepare, just delicious – was a big hit with my family. I served it with Egyptian Rice – which is unbelievable. Will make again. Thank you for the recipe❤️

  7. 5 stars
    I made this last week. It was sooo easy and tasted so good.
    will definitely be making this again

  8. 5 stars
    Made this for my family and I’m not the most comfortable in the kitchen! This recipe was perfection and the meal was even better. Easy to follow and so full of flavor! Delicious!!

  9. 5 stars
    So so so good!! The flavour is amazing! Going to be my go-to dinner from now on for when we have guests over.

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you for this delicious recipe! As soon as I’ve tasted the marinade I knew it’s going to be great. So much flavor!