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July 4 – Time for a Barbecue but with a Twist and Taste of the Levant

The biggest holiday of the American Summer approaches.

The charcoal alight!

The charcoal alight!

In just over a week, the Stars & Stripes will be decorating everything that doesn’t move and some things that do.  The scent of gunpowder from fireworks and outdoor grilling will fill the warm seasonal air, as America celebrates its independence from us Brits.

So, what more apt at this time of the year than to  share  some of my family’s favorite recipes for barbecues with you (meat, sides and booze) and I promise, hand on heart, this will be a burger and hot dog free zone.   But, if not these mainstays of BBQ land, what?  My preference is for something spicy, fresh and ethnic and in this, my first post for the big day, I will explore an easy to prepare recipe of Middle Eastern origin which deliver this in spades.

With a wonderful blend of dusky exotic spices and a taste of the Levant, it is the delicious and savory:

Middle Eastern Chicken

Herbs and Spices needed to make the coating for the Chicken

Herbs and Spices needed to make the coating for the Chicken

Ingredients (for 4-6)

  • 2-3 lbs Chicken legs
  •  2 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1.5 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 lemon (juice only)
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • Fresh Cilantro (coriander) to decorate


Chicken coated in the spicy rub

Chicken coated in the spicy rub

  • Mix the ingredients (except the cilantro and chicken legs) into a large bowl (5 mins)
  • Now drop those Chicken legs into the bowl, rub the mix all over them and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight (5 mins or 2 hrs+ it’s up to you!)
  • Get that charcoal hot add some mesquite wood chips, if you can find them
  • Then pop the legs straight on the grill. Cook ’em until the skin starts to char and crackles.
  • Meanwhile, chop that cilantro / coriander and (if you like) slice some lemons into wedges for garnishing.
  • Sprinkle the herbs on the chicken when you remove it from the grill
Chicken Ready to eat with side salad and Pita

Chicken Ready to eat with side salad and Pita

It’s simply Cameltastic, when served with warm Pita Bread and a simple chopped tomato, cucumber & parsley salad!

Watch this space for July 4 Part Deux!




Filed under: Meat

About the Author

Posted by

Almost as food obsessed as my Beagle Hound Millie, I am a keen amateur cook and consumer of fine chow with a weakness for the spices of Middle Eastern and North African cuisine and an obsession with Chu Toro, British Cheese and Single Malt Orkney Island Scotch (go figure), I slice at warp speed (scars on the fingers to prove it) and can rustle up everything from Mashed Potato to Maki in the flash of an eye!


  1. simsalb

    Reblogged this on taste2taste and commented:

    Well July 4 has arrived at last. Here is the first of my BBQ recommendations, Yummy Middle Eastern spiced Chicken!


  2. Anna

    The chicken was absolutely delectable, especially paired with your homemade hummus! Thank you for the mouthwatering meal, I’m glad we got to try a recipe from the blog firsthand 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • simsalb

      Thank you for the kind comment. It’s nice to hear you enjoyed the chicken recipe. It’s one of my family’s favorites. I’ll be sure to blog my hummus recipe in the near future too!


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