Grilled Cinnamon Chicken Recipe
Cinnamon is actually the inner bark of a tropical tree. Now true cinnamon is actually known as Ceylon cinnamon (this really should be updated to “Sri Lankan cinnamon”) & is very regularly confused with its close cousin cassia. But true cinnamon is much lighter in color, sweeter in flavor, aromatic & more delicate than cassia. In fact, what is sold here in the US as ground cinnamon powder is usually cassia! Cassia bark is much darker, coarser & cheaper – when compared to true cinnamon.
Cinnamon is thought to naturally lower cholesterol, triglycerides & sugar in the body. So healthwise, it is also a winner ☺.
Now I used bone-in chicken thighs, but feel free to use your favorite chicken pieces. Personally, I think the bone-in pieces have more flavor but the boneless pieces cook up super quickly & are easier to eat – it’s just a matter of preference. This dish can also be baked in an oven, so you can enjoy it all year round.
GRILLED CINNAMON CHICKEN
1½ lbs of skinless chicken pieces (either boneless or bone-in)
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or you can use fresh mint leaves)
2 tsp ground cinnamon powder (you can use more or less)
1 tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp ground fennel seeds
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp honey (I used orange blossom), optional
½ tbsp fresh orange zest
2 tbsp oil (olive or vegetable)
freshly chopped cilantro (or rosemary or mint leaves) for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the garlic, ginger & rosemary. Next, add in the spices (ground cinnamon, ground coriander powder, ground cumin powder, ground fennel seeds, red chili powder, salt & pepper) along with the honey, orange zest & oil. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients, cover the bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 4 hours – the longer the better!
When you are ready to grill, fire up your gas or charcoal grill & cook the chicken until it is cooked all the way through yet it is still moist & tender. Garnish with the freshly chopped cilantro leaves & serve as part of any lovely meal.
If you wish to bake the chicken in an oven: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the chicken until it is golden brown. It will take about 20-25 minutes or so for bone-in pieces & about 10-12 minutes or so for boneless pieces. Garnish with the freshly chopped cilantro leaves & serve as part of any lovely meal.
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