My F&W
quick save (...)
Berber-Spiced Chicken Breasts
© James Baigrie

Berber-Spiced Chicken Breasts

  • ACTIVE: 20 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR plus 1 hr marinating

Steven Raichlen is ambivalent when it comes to chicken breasts: "You could describe them two ways," he says. "They're the canvases upon which a grill master paints his colors. Or, to put a less charitable spin on it, they're the meat grill masters love to hate because they're so intrinsically bland." Here, Raichlen rubs the chicken breasts with a blend of North African spices that, when cooked on the grill, forms a crispy crust that is full of what Raichlen calls "gutsy in-your-face flavors."

  1. 3 garlic cloves, quartered
  2. 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  3. One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  4. 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  5. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  6. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  7. 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  11. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  12. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  13. Four chicken breast halves on the bone with skin (2 pounds)
  14. Lemon wedges, for serving
  1. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the chicken and lemon wedges and process to a paste. Spread the paste all over the chicken and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
  2. Light a charcoal grill. When the coals are hot, move them to one side of the grill to create a high-heat zone. Oil the grate and place the chicken on it, skin side up, opposite the coals. Cover and grill the chicken until browned and just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Turn the breasts over and grill over high heat until the skin is crisp and lightly charred, about 2 minutes longer. Let the breasts rest for 5 minutes, then serve with lemon wedges.

Suggested Pairing

Mediterranean reds often have a spicy note that pairs well with the North African spices on this chicken. North African wines are ideal, but hard to find; instead, look for reds from the Jumilla region in Spain.

You Might Also Like


Average Rating



Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
    How we use your email address
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.