Macedonian Spiced Chicken

Macedonian spiced chicken livens up your everyday chicken by marinating it in a blend of paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, and garlic before roasting it all on a bed of sliced onions. Smoky, a little spicy, and outstandingly juicy, this chicken dish will become a cool-weather favorite.

A close-up of a tray of Macedonian spiced chicken with pieces of chicken and onion slices.

Adapted from Katerina Nitsou | Macedonia | Interlink Books, 2021

This dish, traditionally roasted in a furna (a wood-fired oven), is one of the best dishes you can have in Macedonia. The chicken is typically roasted in a shallow, glazed clay baker and served with fresh bread.–Katerina Nitsou

Macedonian Spiced Chicken

A close-up of a tray of Macedonian spiced chicken with pieces of chicken and onion slices.
Macedonian spiced chicken livens up your everyday chicken by marinating it in a blend of paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, and garlic before roasting it all on a bed of sliced onions. Smoky, a little spicy, and outstandingly juicy, this chicken dish will become a cool-weather favorite.
Katerina Nitsou

Prep 15 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 1 hr 50 mins
Entree
Mediterranean
4 servings
530 kcal
No ratings yet
Print RecipeBuy the Macedonia cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) whole chicken cut into serving-size pieces
  • 2 medium (1 lb) yellow onions cut into wedges
  • 4 to 6 whole garlic cloves peeled

Directions
 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together oil, salt, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne to make a marinade.
  • To a large bowl, add chicken, onions, and garlic. Pour marinade into a bowl and toss by hand, making sure all of the pieces are evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In a 9- by 13-inch (23- by 33-cm) baking dish or clay baker, arrange onions and garlic in a single layer. Place chicken pieces, skin side up, on top of onions. Roast, uncovered, until chicken is fully cooked and registers 165°F (74°C) on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Switch oven to broil and cook, watching carefully, until the chicken skin is crisped, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
Print RecipeBuy the Macedonia cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Notes

*What kinds of paprika are there?

At its most basic, paprika is made from dried, sweet red peppers.  The taste will depend on the flavor of the peppers used–fruity, mild, bitter, or hot. If a recipe doesn’t specify what kind to use, either use one that’s just labeled paprika or one that’s labeled sweet paprika. 
The 2 other types, smoked and hot, are just that and should be used specifically for those attributes. Smoked paprika comes from red peppers that have been smoked over wood fires for days before being ground into a powder. It generally comes from Spain and can be called Spanish pimenton. Hot comes from Hungary and adds a hot, peppery kick to food. You can sub sweet paprika with a touch of cayenne or Aleppo pepper, but subbing in smoked paprika isn’t recommended. 

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 530kcal (27%)Carbohydrates: 6g (2%)Protein: 36g (72%)Fat: 39g (60%)Saturated Fat: 10g (63%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 143mg (48%)Sodium: 1299mg (56%)Potassium: 459mg (13%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 2g (2%)Vitamin A: 359IU (7%)Vitamin C: 10mg (12%)Calcium: 43mg (4%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

My family thoroughly enjoyed eating this Macedonian spiced chicken dish. As it’s a frenetic time in our household, I enjoyed how quickly it prepped and baked. I love how a flavorful and simple dish can feel like a savior when times are crazy. There are days (or weeks) you want the comfort of a savory meal without the extra effort. This has been one of those months. Our spring has been wet and cold, so this cozy dish was welcomed around my table.

The three spices in the marinade blended nicely with the onions and garlic and resulted in a smoky, sweet aroma that wafted and wound its way throughout our house. We loved the tender meat mixed with the crispy skin. I only wish I had the forethought to serve a baguette alongside so we could have mopped up the large amount of broth leftover. I’ll be saving this spice marinade for other proteins and vegetables, perhaps on a sheet pan for another quick weeknight meal. All in all, very good.

This Macedonian spiced chicken is a solid, quick chicken recipe to have in the arsenal. The smoked paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne are nicely balanced and the onions become meltingly luscious. I served it with roasted red skin potatoes and steamed broccoli, and my husband went back for seconds.

I really liked this spin on roast chicken! I was concerned the cinnamon would overpower it but it did not. Smelled great while it was in the oven. You get a little of the heat from the cayenne but it’s not overpowering. The final broil at the end is key to getting a nice color and crisp skin. Found this to be nice and juicy, flavorful, and so easy to put together.

I served this with a green bean salad and toasted baguette. It would go well with roasted potatoes!

Originally published September 21, 2021

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish