Yemeni Chicken: An Uniquely Rich & Flavorful Dish

Tantalizingly spiced and wonderfully aromatic, Yemeni Chicken packs a wallop of flavors that’ll leave your taste buds longing for more. This regional specialty is full of complex and intriguing tastes that come together to play a tantalizing tune on your tongue.

For starters, cinnamon, cardamom, and other sweet spices form the perfect base for the chicken. Thesweetness of the spices combined with a tart tang from the lemon is balanced by the savoriness of traditional Yemenite condiments, such as zhug (a spicy mix of herbs and chili peppers). Together, the sum of these parts presents a flavor that’s truly unique and features an intense depth of flavor.


• 1 whole chicken
• 4-5 garlic cloves, grated or crushed
• 2 teaspoon chili paste
• 2 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 2 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
• Salt, to taste
• 2 tablespoons olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. In a small bowl, mix the garlic with the chili paste, spices, and lemon juice.
3. Season the chicken inside and out with salt. Spread the spice mix over the chicken, covering it in a thick coating.
4. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and place it in a lightly greased baking dish.
5. Bake for 45 minutes or until the meat pulls away from the bone easily.

Serving Suggestions

Yemeni chicken is best served with simple yet flavorful sides to allow its naturally complex flavors to shine. A few options would include freshly steamed basmati rice, seasoned roasted vegetables, or Lebanese-style hummus.

This dish has a long history of roots in the Middle Eastern cuisine, admired for its unique flavor combinations. Yemeni Chicken is an earthy and exotic dish, perfectly flavoured with a mix of sweet, savory, and a hint of heat. It’s sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you eager for more.