Dinner, Gluten Free, Healthy, Meat/Poultry

Citrus Chicken Kebabs with Cardamom Rice

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.

Citrus Chicken Kebabs

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.

Cardamom Rice

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.
Citrus Chicken Kebabs with Cardamom Rice

More chicken recipes to try

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!

Yield: 3-4 servings

Citrus Chicken Kebabs with Cardamom Rice

Citrus Chicken Kebabs with Cardamom Rice

These Citrus Chicken Kebabs are marinated with a blend of fresh squeezed orange juice, spices and aromatics before being charred to perfection under the broiler (or in the airfryer!). Served over fragrant cardamom rice with a dollop of yogurt for the most delicous Middle-Eastern inspired meal.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice, plus more to serve
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt

Cardamom Rice:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup dry basmati rice, rinsed well
  • 2 pitted medjool dates, finely chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

To serve:

  • Plain yogurt + a pinch of salt
  • Fresh mint
  • Chopped toasted almonds


  1. If using wooden skewers, soak in a glass of water for at least 15 minutes before using.
  2. For the citrus chicken kebabs, add the chicken to a large bowl along with remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 15-20 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
  3. For the cardamom rice, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium pot to which you have a tight-fitting lid. Add the cardamom, cinnamon stick and rice, toasting for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the dates, water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave covered for another 10 minutes.
  4. To cook the chicken kebabs, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Turn on the broiler, and make sure one of the oven racks is about 5 inches from the heating element.
  5. Thread the chicken pieces on to the skewers and broil for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through and the edges are lightly charred.
  6. Serve the kebabs over cardamom rice with a squeeze of fresh orange juice, yogurt, mint sprigs and a handful of toasted almonds.


Air fryer Instructions: Preheat the air fryer to 390° F and spray the basket with cooking oil. Airfry the skewers for 12-15 min, flipping halfway, until the chicken is cooked through.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 717mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 38g

All nutritional info is an estimation

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review below and tag @wandering_chickpea on Instagram!


  1. I wish you would give the recipes rather than just giving the ingredients

  2. This was utterly spectacular. The rice and the chicken were so flavorful, and truly were enhanced when eaten together with the yogurt. We served with braised kale and chard drizzled with pomegranate molasses. Also it was very quick and easy!

  3. Are you broiling on med or high?

    • Hi Sara! Broilers tend to differ in heat level so I can’t give you a straight answer… I used high, but if it looks like the meat is burning, turn it down to med. Hope you love the recipe!

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