These Lebanese Roasted Chicken Thighs use a Baharat to make a perfect weeknight winner. Serve this roasted chicken recipe with a Fattoush salad, tabbouleh, and some warm middle eastern flatbreads.
What is Lebanese 7 Spice Baharat?
Baharat is a spice mixture often used as seasoning or mixed with fats such as oil or yoghurt for marinades. Numerous Middle Eastern cuisines utilise a version of baharat. The term “Baharat” quite literally means spices in Arabic.
Exact Baharat recipes vary from region to region and cuisine to cuisine, with Turkish Baharat often including mint. The Lebanese and wider Levant call Baharat “Sabaa Baharat“, or seven spices.
Marinade for the Lebanese Roasted Chicken Thighs
I’ve kept The marinade for these Lebanese Roasted Chicken Thighs simple. It consists of a few tablespoons of this homemade Lebanese 7 spice Baharat mix, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. The acid in the lemon juice will help tenderise the chicken, so it helps to set the chicken aside for a minimum of 20 minutes to give time for both the tenderisation of the meat and for the flesh to absorb the marinade’s flavour.
Mixing your own spice may appear complicated, but it’s pretty simple in practice. My Lebanese 7-spice recipe uses pre-ground spices for ease; however, I can’t deny the flavour of freshly ground whole spices. Yet, that adds a few more steps to a recipe and the act of manually grinding them in a pestle and mortar.
Cooking Lebanese Roasted Chicken Thighs
This recipe uses chicken thighs with the bone in. The bone is important as it affects the time it takes the chicken to cook, as it absorbs the heat and improves the flavour as it helps keep the chicken moist. This allows us to cook the chicken for a longer time without it drying out. However, we also want crispy skin, so we need to roast the chicken at a higher temperature. Fortunately, the bone and extra fat in the chicken thigh prevent the meat from drying out.
I find scoring the skin with a sharp knife helps the chicken thighs absorb the marinade.
Using a temperature probe, check the thickest part nearest the bone to test that the chicken is cooked. As the bone absorbs heat, it draws it away from the meat, slowing the cooking process and leaving the flesh nearest the bone prone to undercooking.
Lebanese Roasted Chicken Thighs
- 8 Bone-in Chicken Thighs Skin on, but scored in 3 Places
- 2 Tbsp Lebanese 7 Spice Baharat
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves Crushed
- Salt to taste.
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley Chopped
- 2 Preserved Lemons Chopped optional
- Combine the Lebanese 7 spice Baharat, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl. Rub the marinade into the scored chicken and set aside for at least twenty minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C or 180C Fan 0r 400F or Gas 6
- Line the chicken skin side up in a large roasting tin. Roast in the centre of a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes until a meat thermometer reaches 75c or when the thickest part of the chicken, nearest the bone, runs clear.
- Serve with preserved lemons and freshly chopped parsley.