Explore the rich flavors of the Middle East with these delightful chicken recipes. Beyond the aromatic spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and saffron lies a treasure trove of culinary experiences waiting to be discovered.
If you’ve ever wished to travel the world but can’t right now, bringing Middle Eastern cuisine into your home is a delicious way to satisfy your wanderlust.
In this post, we’ll delve into the region’s vibrant cuisine with recipes like Chicken Shawarma, Persian Fesenjan, and Lebanon’s national dish – Musakhan.
Whether you’re looking for hearty stews or lighter fare, these recipes celebrate the region’s diverse culinary influences and will have your whole family craving more. So turn up the spices and let’s get cooking!
1. Shish Tawook
Shish Tawook, a beloved dish from the Levant and the Mediterranean, is an absolute must for all Kabob enthusiasts out there, and it’s truly perfect for your backyard grilling!
Imagine tender pieces of chicken, marinated in a super flavorful marinade. Then, grill to perfectly golden brown with a slightly crispy outside and tender, juicy inside. Doesn’t that sound simply amazing?
Serve it with fluffy pita or over some pilaf, or eat it straight off the skewers. It will be delicious with anything!
Get the Recipe: Shish Tawook
2. Chicken Shawarma
This super tasty Chicken Shawarma is packed with amazing flavors! Marinated with vibrant and aromatic spices, it can be your go-to weeknight dinner or a hit for hosting friends and family.
You can grill it, cook it in a skillet, or even bake it. No matter how you do it, it makes for a very yummy dinner!
Get the Recipe: Chicken Shawarma
3. Chicken Machboos
Chicken Machboos is a Middle Eastern delight!
It’s actually a spiced rice, cooked in chicken broth and topped with roasted chicken and toasted nuts. So incredibly delicious!
You can also make it with another meat, or even seafood. So give it a sure try and make all the versions!
4. Halal Cart-Style Chicken
This Yummy Halal Cart-Style Chicken recipe combines flavorful grilled chicken, tangy yogurt sauce, and fresh chopped veggies, on top of fluffy yellow rice. It’s seriously a tasty one-bowl meal, that’s sure to satisfy everyone.
Enjoy an awesome complete meal, that you can usually only get at Middle Eastern restaurants or street carts!
5. Turkish Chicken Stew
You’ve to give this Turkish Chicken Stew a try! It’s seriously amazing, with rich and comforting flavors that make it the perfect meal for your chilly night or when you’re craving something hearty and filling!
And the best part? It’s incredibly easy to make!
6. Lebanese Chicken and Rice
We got you a hearty meal that hits the spot every time, Lebanese Chicken and Rice, also called riz a djej or riz ala dajjaj, which means chicken on rice.
The dish kicks off with a scrumptious hashweh style rice (Lebanese rice spiced up with ground beef or lamb.) Next, load it up with some shredded chicken and lots of toasted nuts to make it insanely delicious. That’s it!
7. Chicken Salona
Chicken Salona is a classic Emirati tomato stew dish found in Gulf Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates.
It’s made with tender chicken pieces, and a mix of veggies, herbs, and spices. This flavorful dish pairs perfectly with rice or pita bread.
It’s comfort food, that’s been passed down through generations. It’s often served during special occasions like Ramadan or Eid, family get-togethers, and holiday celebrations. Give it a try!
8. Authentic Saudi Chicken Kabsa
If you’re up for experiencing the diverse flavors of Saudi Arabian cuisine, then this Authentic Saudi Chicken Kabsa will be your go-to!
In this recipe, rice is cooked to fluffy perfection, soaking up all those tasty flavors from spices and chicken broth.
This is a unique dish that’s perfect for hosting a family get-together or a special event. And guaranteed to wow everyone!
9. Sumac Chicken Fatteh
This Sumac chicken Fatteh dish is a 30-minute meal that’s super fancy. You can totally serve it to guests and they’ll never guess you whipped it up using all pantry staples.
It’s like a little party in your mouth! And the best part? You can top it with anything your heart desires. The possibilities are endless!
Oh, and dont forget about the scrumptious yogurt sauce. It’s got just the right amount of garlicky and lemony goodness that keeps you coming back for more!
10. Persian Saffron Chicken (Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh)
Check out this awesome recipe for Persian Saffron Chicken with Barberry Rice! It’s an incredible combination of flavors and spices that you won’t want to miss!
The saffron and barberries really take it to another level. The meat becomes so tender, it just falls off the bone. And the sauce? It’s rich and bursting with flavors. Let’s not forget about the crisp and fresh Shirazi salad. This meal is absolutely perfect!
Musakhan aka Sumac Roasted Chicken is the bomb! It’s the national dish of Palestine and a total comfort food.
It features juicy, slow-cooked chicken, flavored with zesty sumac, smothered in tender onions, topped with crunchy pine nuts, and piled onto mouthwatering flatbread.
So yummy! You have to give this Musakhan a sure try!
12. Chicken Mandi (Yemeni Chicken & Rice)
Let’s make one of the most beloved chicken and rice dishes, the classic Yemeni Chicken Mandi.
Seriously, what’s not to love about this Mandi? You’ve got perfectly spiced juicy chicken, layered on top of irresistible yellow rice, and then finished off with crispy fried onions, almonds, and raisins.
Trust us, this recipe is a winner and there’s nothing quite like it!
13. Chicken Adana
Chicken Adana, aka Turkish kabab, is a delicious skewer made of hand-minced meat.
The spices in the marinade will give your meat the perfect punch of flavor. You just put the meat on a skewer, and cook it over an open flame.
If you love whipping up tasty barbecue options for a backyard bash or a laid-back dinner, this recipe is a super hit!
14. Middle Eastern Chicken and Potatoes
If you’re craving a hearty dinner that’s not only delicious, but also super easy to make, then you’re in the right place!
Chicken and potatoes might seem basic, but trust us, this Middle Eastern-inspired marinade takes this dish to a whole new level!
So get ready to try this insanely delicious meal with everyone!
15. Grilled Zaatar Chicken
If you want loads of flavor, you have to try this Grilled Zaatar Chicken recipe. It’s seriously addictive!
Even though it’s simple, this recipe will give you juicy grilled chicken, bursting with Middle Eastern flavors.
It’s perfect for a delicious summer dinner, and can be served alone or in wraps. So many tasty options!
16. Middle Eastern Baharat Baked Chicken Thighs
Get ready for a Middle Eastern twist on scrumptious, baked boneless chicken thighs!
And it includes one of the best spice blends, baharat. With a mix of warm spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and coriander, baharat takes these baked boneless chicken thighs to the next level!
The best part? You don’t have to marinate the chicken for hours. Just 15 to 20 minutes, and then cook to perfection.
Serve it with a big salad like fattoush or a simple tomato salad, and treat your entire family!
17. Lebanese Baked Chicken with Potatoes
This Lebanese Baked Chicken with Potatoes sheet pan dinner is seriously flavorful and a total hit with everyone!
It’s one of those dinners that practically cooks itself. Just toss everything on a sheet pan, and you’re good to go, with no hassle or fuss.
Serve it with a side salad, pita bread, or rice, and voila, your dinner is ready to devour!
18. Al Faham Chicken
Ever tried Al Faham chicken, also known as charcoal chicken? If not, then this is your recipe!
It’s that amazing combination of smoky grilled chicken and aromatic Middle Eastern spices. Just like your favorite grilled tandoori chicken.
It’s the perfect dish for a casual get-together or a chill backyard barbecue. Give it a go!
19. Fesenjan (Persian Pomegranate And Walnut Chicken Stew)
Fesenjan is a classic Persian stew. It’s made by simmering chicken in a delicious pomegranate molasses and walnut sauce.
The combination of earthy walnuts, tangy pomegranate molasses, and juicy chicken, creates an amazing balance of flavors.
It’s perfect for special occasions, and once you give this deliciousness a try, you’ll definitely want to add it to your favorite recipe collection!
20. Joojeh Kabab (Persian Chicken Kabobs)
Joojeh Kabab is a super tasty Persian chicken kabob with a unique saffron flavor.
These yummy kabobs are marinated overnight in a juicy yogurt and saffron marinade, resulting in the juiciest and most flavorful grilled chicken ever.
You can enjoy it over saffron rice, paired with grilled tomatoes, like they do at restaurants. Or wrap it up with lavash bread for a different twist. Want something even easier? Serve it with this yummy yellow rice. Enjoy!
21. Chicken Kafta
Chicken Kofta, or as they say in Lebanon, Chicken Kafta, is a super popular chicken kebab dish that you’ll come across in many Middle Eastern restaurants and cookouts.
This recipe is absolutely top-notch. It’s made with ground chicken, fresh parsley, grated onions, salt, and pepper. You can also add different spices to your liking. Plus, It’s moist, delicious, and packed with just the right amount of spices.
So, go ahead and give it a try!
22. Havij Polo (Persian Jewelled Carrot Rice with Saffron Chicken)
This Havij polo is an amazing Persian Jewelled Carrot Rice with Saffron Chicken that is seriously outstanding. Topped with fried nuts and sultanas, it’s a tasty adventure of colors and flavors!
And with just a few easy steps, you’ll end up with a super tasty and vibrant yellow rice dish that your whole family will absolutely love!
23. Chicken Maqluba
Looking for a mind-blowing dish to impress your guests? Look no further than this Middle Eastern Chicken Maqluba!
This amazing dish features flavorful chicken, fried veggies, and rice. And the best part? It’s super easy to make!
Also, this Chicken Maqluba is never alone! It’s always accompanied by plain yogurt or a fresh salad. Go for yogurt if you want more richness, or pick the salad for a healthy, veggie side dish. Either way, you’ll love it!
Tashreeb is a classic Middle Eastern recipe featuring tender chicken cooked in a flavorful tomato stew with carrots, potatoes, and eggplant!
It is often served over bread, which soaks up the delicious broth, resulting in a moist and tender texture.
This mouthwatering dish is typically enjoyed during Iftar, and a must-have during Ramadan in the Gulf Arab region.
Give this one a try, for a cozy, satisfying meal!
25. Grilled Chicken Kabob – Middle Eastern Style
These Middle Eastern Chicken Kabobs are extremely delicious! They’re made with yogurt-marinated chicken and are so tender. No wonder they’re such a hit in the Middle East!
Here’s a super simple recipe for all kebab lovers that will give you amazingly tender and flavorful chicken.
Pair it with anything you crave and enjoy it with your loved ones!
26. Persian Chicken
This Persian Chicken recipe gives you a tasty and satisfying way to enjoy tender and crispy chicken. It will totally impress your taste buds!
The savory, tender chicken and basmati rice is infused with fragrant Baharat spice. It’s a total winner for a quick and easy one-pan dinner!
27. Jordanian Mansaf Chicken
This classic Jordanian dish is like a flavor explosion! It’s tangy, sweet, and savory all at once!
The meat is so tender, it practically falls off the bone. And when you combine it with fluffy rice, crunchy nuts, crispy onions, and silky sauce, it’s pure perfection!
Serve with yellow turmeric rice and pita bread. On your first bite, you’ll be transported straight to the Middle East!
28. Chicken Afghani Curry
Chicken Afghani Curry is a scrumptious and creamy chicken curry recipe with a smoky kick.
The succulent Afghani chicken tandoori, cooked in a creamy sauce, goes perfectly with soft roomali roti or flaky parathas.
Give it a try and prepare for a delightful meal!
29. Afghani Chicken Pulao
This Afghani Chicken Pulao is seriously tasty and a total hit with everyone!
It will hands down be your absolute favorite, too! Follow this easy recipe, and you’re set for life.
The best part is, that you can easily double it to feed a crowd. Don’t miss out on this flavorful pulao!
30. Syrian Chicken
This is a super flavorful dish from Syria that smells and tastes amazing!
It’s made with everyday ingredients and only takes about 15 minutes to get ready in the oven.
Serve this delicious meal with giant Couscous or you can go with regular couscous, pasta, rice, polenta, or even mashed potatoes. So many delicious options.
Your entire family will love this meal for sure!
So many delicious Middle Eastern chicken recipes to try. The flavors are all so amazing!
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Check out these other great recipe collections!
Middle Eastern Recipes
Mexican Chicken Recipes
Asian Chicken Recipes
Greek Chicken Recipes
Mediterranean Chicken Recipes
French Chicken Recipes
Filipino Chicken Recipes
Cuban Chicken Recipes
- 2lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into large chunks)
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6-7 garlic cloves, minced or very finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade (yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, all the spices and seasonings) and whisk to combine.
- Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and toss to coat completely. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or overnight to fully marinate.
- Heat a gas grill to medium and lightly oil the grates.
- Thread the chicken on skewers snuggly, brushing marinade all over the chicken pieces. Discard any remaining marinade. (see note 1)
- Grill for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 to 7 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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