These juicy Citrus Chicken Kebabs are marinated with a blend of fresh orange juice, spices and aromatics then broiled (or air-fried!) until golden brown. Served over fragrant, date & cardamom-spiked basmati rice for the most delicious Middle Eastern-inspired meal.
These Citrus Chicken Kebabs have become my latest dinner obsession. I’ve eaten leftovers pretty much everyday for the past week and I am still not tired of this recipe!
The marinade is a simple yet flavorful mix of fresh orange juice/zest, brown sugar, turmeric, ground cumin and olive oil. Dice up a few chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces for the skewers and throw those under the broiler until nicely charred. The sugars in the marinade caramelize while the chicken stays so juicy and tender. So delish.
The kebabs you see in the photos were actually cooked using my air fryer—a method I highly recommend.
How to make Cardamom Rice + serving ideas
I’ve always loved the orange/cardamom combo… you usually see it in sweet contexts but I think I love it even more in a savory dish. This quick and easy cardamom rice goes so well with Citrus Chicken Kebabs, and it takes just a few extra minutes to prepare.
Toasting the spices and rice in a bit of olive oil adds flavor and nice nuttiness. The key to perfectly cooked basmati rice is a supper tight-fitting lid to your pot. If you see wisps of steam escaping from the sides, it’s no good. Turn your stove down to the lowest possible setting and making sure to not to lift the lid at any point.
Letting the rice rest off the heat for about 10 minutes is also an important step in achieving those perfectly fluffy grains.
Serve the Citrus Chicken Kebabs over a plate of Cardamom rice with a few fresh mint sprigs and a handful of toasted almonds. I like to mix some plain yogurt with a pinch of salt for a tangy condiment. You do not want to skip out on the yogurt, it really brings the whole dish together.
Tips + FAQ
- Do I need to marinate the chicken? I recommend a minimum of 15-20 minutes, but a longer marinade in going to add a much stronger citrus flavor.
- Can I cook the citrus chicken in the Airfryer or on the grill? Yes!! I love to make chicken kebabs in the airfryer. It takes about 15 minutes and browns the meat so beautifully. An outdoor grill is also a great option if it’s the season.
- Can I use chicken breasts? I do not recommend using chicken breasts instead of thighs. They contain barely any fat and are super easy to overcook. Especially under the intense heat of the broiler or grill.
- Can I use a different type of of rice for the Cardamom Rice? White basmati rice is probably the most fragrant and fluffy rice around, but you can swap in any type of white, long-grain rice in a pinch. Brown rice can also work, it will just require a much longer cook time. Around 35-40 minutes.
More chicken recipes to try
- One Skillet Pesto Chicken and Orzo
- Cinnamon Chicken Stew
- Baked Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Golden Rice
- Sheet Pan Chicken Burrito Bowls
- One Pot Tuscan Pasta
Made this recipe? I would love to hear what you think in the review section down below! Also, make sure to tag @wandering_chickpea on Instagram with your creations and save this recipe on Pinterest for later!