Grilled Dukkah Crusted Chicken with Lemon Hummus
Grilled Dukkah Crusted Chicken with Lemon Hummus

Try this Dukkah Crusted Grilled Chicken! A new spice mix can really be a game-changer when dinnertime gets boring. Dukkah is a blend of coriander, cumin, fennel seeds and nuts and pairs beautifully with grilled chicken.

My first encounter with dukkah was at my neighbor’s house. She and her husband are world travelers, so it’s no wonder she pulled out this Egyptian spice blend and shared it with me long before it hit restaurant menus in the US.

What exactly is dukkah?

The word dukkah derives from the Arabic word for “pound,” as in “smashed.” The ingredients are ground in a mortar to a crumbly, flavorful mass.

This mess of spices often contains Coriander, cumin and fennel seeds coarsely crushed and stirred into finely chopped roasted pistachios, hazelnuts and/or almonds. Sesame seeds, dried mint, and marash or Aleppo pepper often round out the mix.

There are no hard and fast rules about the ingredients of dukkah, as each chef prefers their own version.

You can make your own dukkah mix based on the above spices or buy them. Look for it at Trader Joe’s or order it from some mail order spice retailers.

You might also be able to find it at the grocery store, as McCormick’s makes a mix that includes all the essential ingredients as well. It’s worth chasing after.

What are some ways to use dukkah?

Once you discover it, you’ll want to sprinkle it on everything from sautéed fish fillets to vegetables (imagine it on a skillet with roasted cauliflower!), a savory dish with eggs, or simply stirred into yogurt for a flavorful one dip It is equally good in all of these applications.

After learning about dukkah as a starter, I wanted to try it in a different way. Chicken came to mind as a good candidate for grilling: It’s quick to prepare, has a big flavor boost, and can be served with toasted flatbread, hummus, or store-bought grape leaves. Any number of Middle Eastern small plates or other salads (e.g. Greek salad or Fattoush) can go with it to change up the usual grilling routine.

Make this Grilled Chicken with Dukkah!

This Grilled Chicken with Dukkah recipe is an easy any day of the week recipe. Make a lime marinade and set aside some to use as a vinaigrette dressing for the salad. Use the rest to marinate the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with dukkah, marinate, and then grill when ready for dinner. The dukkah mixes with the vinaigrette and all that good flavor oozes into the chicken.

Serve the chicken with veggies, lightly tossed in the marinade you set aside earlier. Scatter some hummus on the plate for extra pizzazz and serve with flatbread reheated on the grill.

On a weekday, I might buy my favorite hummus from the grocery store to save time. However, I love making my own and the one I made for this recipe is packed with lemony tartness. Sometimes I skip the garlic because raw garlic can easily overwhelm the hummus once it’s sitting. I just love the lemon so much!

The combination of tart and creamy hummus, crunchy veggies and tangy, crunchy dukkah results in a delightful palette of textures and flavors – in other words, a feast without too much fuss.

Turn this into a make-ahead meal

You can prepare the marinade and hummus up to 3 days ahead and marinate the chicken for several hours or overnight. Then all that’s left to do is grill the chicken and decorate with all the goodies ready to serve.

More Middle Eastern recipes to try!

  • Fattoush Bread Salad
  • Afghan style lamb korma
  • tabbouleh
  • Spicy turkey and zucchini burgers

Grilled Dukkah Crusted Chicken with Lemon Hummus

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
30 minutes

60 minutes

total time
110 minutes

up to 6 servings

If you don’t feel like grilling or don’t own a grill, you can roast the chicken pieces in the oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the chicken pieces in a roasting pan, skin side up. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF when a thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of a thigh and the skin is golden. Large breasts will take a little longer to cook.


  • For the lime marinade:
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, from about 2 limes

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Pinch of black pepper

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 teaspoons of honey

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh coriander leaves

  • For the chicken:
  • 4 bone-in and skinless chicken drumsticks (thighs and drumsticks attached) or 2 drumsticks and 2 drumsticks

  • 2 chicken breasts with bone and skin

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 to 5 tablespoons dukkah, divided

  • Oil (for the cooking grates)

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

  • 6 small flatbreads to serve

  • For the hummus:
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 6 to 7 tablespoons lemon juice to taste (from 2 to 3 lemons)

  • 3 tablespoons tahini

  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed

  • 2 (15-ounce) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • For the Greens:
  • 3 handfuls of baby arugula

  • 1 handful of fresh mint leaves

  • 1 Persian cucumber, sliced

special equipment

  • food processor


  1. Make the vinaigrette:

    In a blender, puree the lime juice, salt, pepper, oil, honey and coriander leaves until smooth. Set aside 3 tablespoons to dress the salad.

  2. Marinate Chicken:

    Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons dukkah. Press the dukkah into the chicken. Reserve the rest of the dukkah for sprinkling over the cooked chicken.

    In a bowl, mix the chicken with the remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to overnight.

  3. Make the hummus:

    In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes (this will take the raw edge off the garlic).

    In a food processor, finely blend the garlic and lemon mixture with the tahini. Add the water and process again. Add the chickpeas, cumin and oil and blend again for at least a minute until smooth.

    Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if you like. If necessary, dilute with water to achieve a spreadable consistency.

  4. Prepare the grill:

    Build a two tier fire by piling the coals on one side of the grill and leaving the second side empty. When the coals are hot, use tongs to dip a folded paper towel in oil and liberally oil the grates.

    If using a gas grill, heat one side to high heat and the other to medium-low heat.

  5. Grill chicken:

    Remove chicken from marinade. Place the pieces, skin-side against the grates, on the hot side of the grill. Fry them for a minute or two – just long enough for the skin to show the grill marks. Turn the chicken over and sear briefly on the other side. Exact timing will depend on the heat of your particular grill.

    Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill. Continue frying, skin-side up, turning once or twice, until the temperature at the thickest part of the chicken reads 165F.

    Place on a plate and let rest for 10 minutes. While it is resting, heat the pita on the grill for a few minutes.

  6. Toss the veggies with the dressing:

    In a bowl, toss together the arugula, mint, and cucumber with the reserved 3 tablespoons of the dressing.

  7. Serve Chicken:

    On a platter or individual plates, spread a spoonful of hummus on one side. Arrange the chicken and vegetables on the platter. Sprinkle the chicken with more dukkah and the pomegranate seeds and serve.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!