Tangy Baked Chicken


This baked chicken recipe pairs well with my Spiced Tomato Rice recipe.  It was an experiment in the combination of spices I used.  I first made this dish over 11 years ago and it has become a dish that I make often.


In this recipe, I use black lemon powder.  This tiny dried lemon is a staple pantry ingredient here in the UAE home.  It is a key lime and is dried out in the sun and then used whole or in powder form in cooking for stews and mitchboos rice dishes. The dried lemon will either be black or brownish in color.  I prefer to use the black lemons.  If you live in the UAE or other Gulf countries then this is called Loomi Aswad and can be bought in either whole or powder form.  If you live in the States, this dried lemon is available whole and can be bought at any Arab supermarket.  When you get home just break a whole bunch of them open and take out the seeds and then grind them in a spice grinder.


The ingredients I give are for one baked chicken.  I have a big family and I usually make three fresh chickens 600 grams each!  Any leftovers make delicious cold sandwiches of course!


1 kg (2 pounds) of fresh chicken

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika powder (OR 1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder seasoning)

1 teaspoon oregano or mixed Italian spices

1 teaspoon ground black lemon

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil (or more to make a paste)


Clean your chicken very well inside and out.


In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well to form a paste.


Scoop up a bit of the paste and you will now coat the chicken inside and out with this paste.  If you have any paste leftover you can add it to the two pockets between the skin and breast meat area near the thigh.


Bake the chicken for 45 minutes to one hour or until done.




2 responses to “Tangy Baked Chicken

  1. Assalam alaikum, sister I have searched for this loomi aswad for so long!!! I am now in Egypt and I came accross something called “sumac” it’s black in a ‘powderish’ version, I think it’s the black lemon in question but when I asked a Massri lady she didn’t know what I was talking about. It tastes also very lemony, would you happen to know by any chance if this is the one? shukran

  2. Wa Alaikum Salaam,

    Loomi Aswad is totally different from the Sumac. The powder for loomi aswad is black. Sumac comes from a bush and is reddish in color. Used to in the olden days people would add it to their lemonade to get pink lemonade. I add it to my salads for the salty/lemony flavor that it has. Sumac is also used in a Middle Eastern dish called “Musakhan”. Wherein the pita bread is covered/soaked in olive oil and layered with shredded chicken and cooked onions and then baked in the oven…..very tasty and MMMMMMmmmmm that sounds good right now, LOL.

    Anyway, I actually never used sumac for anything else.

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