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Aromatic-Spiced Grilled Chicken

Aromatic-Spiced Grilled Chicken

When the summer sun is shining down and the temperatures are rising, marinades are on our minds, along with a tall glass of refreshing lemonade, that is. Spicy marinades also imply that it is grill season, so stock up on your favorite ingredients, invite your closest friends over and get that grill fired up! Chicken is a classic protein for grilling, whether it be Tandoori chicken or grilled pesto chicken kebabs, but today we are mixing up a blend of spices like you’ve never experienced before.

What goes in our tempting spice mix? Garlic, shallots, ginger, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, turmeric, fennel and cayenne pepper. Grab a mortar and pestle, add all those ingredients and make a nice paste, mix in a bit of water and olive oil, then generously coat the chicken thighs, and let them marinate in the aromatic bath for 2 to 12 hours. The longer the better, but two hours is a must. Be sure not to skip the fennel powder either, as this humble ingredient adds a surprising flavor to the dish with notes of licorice and anise. Fennel powder is made from the ground seeds, not from the tuber, and is often used in Indian cuisine, as well as added to tomato, seafood and pork dishes.

When you are stuck on the thought of “What’s for dinner?”, try something new. Indian-style chicken bites with garam masala, turmeric and coconut milk, may quickly become a new favorite; feel free to add some fennel powder to that too!

Aromatic-Spiced Grilled Chicken Recipe

Serves: 4Prep: 20 min + 2 hCook: 15 min

Protein: 56g / %

Carbs: 5g / %

Fat: 32g / %

Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.


  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs, skinless & boneless
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Fresh cilantro to garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chicken Preparation


  1. Grind all of the ingredients except for the chicken, water and olive oil, in a mortar and pestle until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Add the water and olive oil while whisking; season to taste.
  3. Coat the chicken with the marinde making sure every piece is covered. Marinate 2 to 12 hours.
  4. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade and grill 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.
  6. Serve topped with fresh cilantro.
Photo of Ashley Noël

Hi I’m Ashley, I’m an ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach

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