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!
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What Is Middle Eastern Chicken?
Middle Eastern chicken consists of chicken legs marinaded in a yogurt sauce and 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 wonderfully 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 recommended 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lemon Greek Potatoes
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Whipped Feta with Roasted Peppers
- Burrata with Roasted Tomatoes and Za’atar Pita
Yes, once cooked Middle Eastern chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
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.
To make this Middle Eastern chicken dairy-free, simply use dairy-free yogurt.
More Flavorful Chicken Recipes
Say goodbye to boring chicken dinners for good with more of our favorite recipes below!
Middle Eastern Chicken
- 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
- Add all of the ingredients except for the chicken to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a smooth consistency is formed.
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 425° 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.