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+ servings
two roasted chicken breasts on blue patterned plate
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5 from 3 votes

Iraqi Grilled Chicken

Iraqi grilled chicken quarters are seasoned with a flavorful, aromatic Middle Eastern spice rub. Fire up your bbq for this fantastic recipe!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Marinate Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 475kcal
Author: Kevin


  • 4 lb bone-in chicken whole, cut in half, quarters, or single pieces

Spice Rub

  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 dried arbol chiles stemmed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon dried rose petals
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
  • 3 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon allspice
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cloves garlic mashed into a paste
  • 3 lemons separated
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil


  • Heat the cardamom, chiles, cloves, coriander, cumin and peppercorns in a 10″ skillet over medium heat until seeds pop, 1-2 minutes. Allow to cool and transfer to a spice grinder (or coffee grinder) with the dried rose petals and grind. Transfer to a bowl and with a whisk stir in curry, cinnamon, sumac, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, fenugreek, salt, mashed garlic, the juice of one lemon (2-3 tablespoons) and olive oil. This will be a loose paste.
  • Rub the spice mix all over chicken pieces and press the spice mixture to coat and adhere. Lift the wings up, get under there and rub it in. Get every nook and cranny of that bird! Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat your grill to 400°F. Clean grill and oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  • Shake off excess spice rub or clumps from chicken. Give each chicken piece a good rub all over once again prior to roasting. Place chicken on grill skin side up and roast for 40-45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken reads 165°F.
  • Juice second lemon and mix with ¼ cup water and remaining spice rub in bowl or bag used to marinate chicken in. Use this mixture to baste the chicken twice while roasting.
  • If outside starts to burn before chicken is cooked, move to cooler area of grill or tent with foil until done. Rest chicken 10 minutes and slice third lemon. Serve lemon slices with chicken.



Recipe adapted from Saveur.


Sodium: 688mg | Calcium: 140mg | Vitamin C: 53mg | Vitamin A: 516IU | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 8g | Potassium: 609mg | Cholesterol: 102mg | Calories: 475kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Fat: 33g | Protein: 29g | Carbohydrates: 21g | Iron: 5mg