Middle Eastern Marinades

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Lebanese Marinade

  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Turkish Marinade

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated onion

Moroccan Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter or olive oil
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Egyptian Marinade

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Make sure you wash the chicken well after scrubbing hard with salt or flour. If using boneless chicken pieces, cut into 1-inch cubes and place in a shallow nonreactive container. If using whole birds, butterfly them; if using broiler halves, leave whole.
  2. Select one of the marinades, then combine it in a bowl and pour over the chicken. cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Marinate the meat overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before cooking. Bring the meat to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a broiler (griller) Remove the meat from the marinade, reserving the marinade.
  5. If using chicken cubes, thread on to skewers. Place the skewers or butterflied or halved birds on the grill rack or a broiler pan and grill or broil until cooked through, basting with reserved marinade while cooking (you may use a special brush).
  6. Cooking time will depend upon the size of the poultry pieces; DO NOT LET THE MEAT BECOME DRY.

Source: Lior's Kitchen Talk