Piquant Crispy Chicken

Growing up in a Yemenite house, the use of spices is not foreign to me.  I love the richness of flavor they add to food, the aroma that spreads in the kitchen while the food cooks, and the warmth they add to the meal. I know that for some people the idea of using spices might be intimidating and feels complicated, but it’s really simple.

When making savory food I love to use spices such as turmeric, granulated garlic, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and smoked paprika. These spices work wonderfully with fresh or dry herbs such as parsley, cilantro, dill, Italian seasoning, and zatar. When working on more sweet dishes I like to use spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, and ginger. 

 In our house this is the ultimate chicken recipe ever: easy process for prime results. You can use all the savory spices I mentioned above, or just some of them. Look at the recipe below as a recommendation and feel free to play with the spices and quantities. It takes time for the chicken to be ready, but you don’t even need to be in the kitchen, or in the house for that matter. From all my experiments in the kitchen I found that a slow cooked chicken yields the best results in flavor and texture. This method of cooking is not recommended for skinless chicken or chicken breast, which tends to be dry. The same baking method can be used for a whole chicken, just add one hour to the cooking time. The broiling in the end gives the skin its crispiness. Make sure to stay next to the oven when you broil the chicken, you want it crispy not burnt.


6-8 whole chicken legs/ drumsticks/ thighs – bone in skin on
2 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp Italian seasoning/ zatar
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp coriander
½ tsp cumin
salt and pepper
½ cup oil

Preheat oven to 250F/120C
Place spices and oil in a baking pan and mix together.

Coat chicken with the sauce; make sure to get it under the skin as well.

Bake for 2 ½ - 3 hours
To make the skin crispy, before serving broil chicken for 5 minutes.


  1. I love this recipe! Made it many times already, and I'm making it again today. Thanks, Anat!

    1. I'm so glad to hear that Havatselet. I will have to thank my sous chef and editor (AKA Ari) for traveling all the way from Seattle to Boston and introducing you to this recipe;)


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