Lemon Cumin Mint Chicken is a quick and easy Middle Eastern-inspired meal that uses ingredients you likely already have. The cumin and lemon add a spicy, citrusy flavor. Think of it as the sort of meal you might have sitting outside at a café along the Mediterranean sea.
I’ve adapted this from Epicurious but made several changes. First, since it’s one person, we don’t need a mixture of chicken pieces. Second, I don’t like the boneless thighs (I want the bones to make chicken broth).
The original recipe also called for lemon-infused oil (which takes three weeks to make). Probably good, but that’s too long to wait, and I suspect it would overwhelm the chicken.
Third, the instructions said to reserve some of the garlic and scatter it over the chicken. I didn’t do that either, as I didn’t want raw garlic. And, I upped the cumin a bit.
Lastly, instead of broiling the meat, which tends to lead to dried out food (especially chicken), I simply baked it instead. About 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then baste, then another 25 minutes or so until the chicken is done and the juices run clear.
The potatoes are crispy garlic basil potato bites (without the basil). Tomatoes were fresh from the Greenmarket.
Don’t be put off by the “prep” time. It’s really five minutes of prep, and the rest is waiting for the marinade to flavor the chicken.
Zest of 1/4 lemon, grated
2 tsp lemon juice
1 T olive oil (or lemon oil, see substitutions and variations)
1 tsp shredded fresh mint leaves, plus 1//2 tsp whole leaves for garnish
1 small garlic clove, minced
generous pinch paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
grinding of black pepper
1 chicken thigh
Mix together the lemon zest, juice, half the mint, the garlic, and the remaining marinade ingredients (everything except the chicken) in a small bowl.
Add the chicken to the bowl and spoon the marinade over it, turning the chicken so it gets covered on all sides. Leave the mixture out on the counter, and let it marinate for about half an hour. Turn it every once in a while. (Or alternatively, put everything in a plastic baggie and shake it around).
Heat the oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. Put the chicken on the toaster oven pan (or a small baking pan) and cook for 15 minutes. Then brush the skin with the marinade and the pan juices. Roast for 20-25 minutes more and check to see if the chicken is ready. The juices should run clear.
Remove to a plate, and sprinkle with the rest of the mint and the reserved garlic.
Mix all the ingredients (except the chicken) together in a small bowl or plastic ziploc bag. Add the chicken and turn or shake until the chicken is coated with the marinade.
Let the mixture sit at room temperature for half an hour. Shake or turn it occasionally.
Preheat the oven (or use a toaster oven) to 400 degrees. Place the chicken in a small pan or on the toaster oven pan and cook for 15 minutes. Then baste the chicken with the marinade. Cook for another 20-25 minutes until the chicken is done. Remove to a plate and garnish with the rest of the mint.
Lemon Mint Cumin Chicken Substitutions and Variations
- Try coriander instead of mint (or a mixture of the two)
- If you have time (and patience, make the lemon oil: 1 cup oil with 3 T of lemon zest, kept refrigerated for 3 weeks, then strained).
- Swap the lemon for lime
- Layer portobello mushrooms and thinly sliced potatoes under the chicken
More Lemon Chicken Recipes
Crispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One
Jewish Chicken Curry Chitarnee
Homemade Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce
Feta Brined Roast Chicken Recipe for One