Yasin’s Chicken Leg and Rice

Growing up, my mother was a single parent who worked really hard to provide for me. She held down two jobs, one at a grocery store and another at a somali restaurant. Despite her long hours, she always made time for me. She would get me ready for school in the morning, drop me off, go to work then pick me up from school and drop me off at her sister’s house, and then head back to work. Late at night at around 1am usually, she would wake me up and take me home. On some nights, we would eat dinner together really late, usually chicken leg and rice, which ended up becoming my favourite dish and became our Ramadan tradition when I grew up. Six years ago, I made the decision to become a vegetarian, but this year, due to health reasons, I’ve started eating chicken again. I’m excited to revive this tradition and enjoy chicken and rice during iftar once more. Although I haven’t quite mastered the art of making rice just yet, I’m looking forward to reliving this special bond with my mother through food.


60 minutes




1 cup long-grain white rice

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, optional




  • 3 pound chicken (such as breasts, thighs or drumsticks)
  • 3 tablespoon butter (unsalted, melted, for brushing)


Wet Rub:

  • 1¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt



  • ½ cup yogurt (plain, such as Greek yogurt)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 drops red gel food coloring (optional)
  1. Take a sharp knife and make slits into the tops of each chicken thigh, being careful not to fully cut through.
  2. Combine all the ingredients, except the chicken, in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 6 hours but no more than 24 hours.
  3. While the chicken is marinating, add rice and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Ensure it’s simmering and not boiling or the rice can cook too quickly.
  5. Simmer until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender – about 15-25 minutes (will depend on size and freshness of rice).
  6. Drain off any excess water if there is any (there shouldn’t be).
  7. Turn off the heat, remove the lid, fluff with a fork, put the lid back on, and let rest for 10 minutes so the moisture redistributes to prevent mushy rice.
  8. After the chicken has marinated, take the pieces out of yogurt and discard the marinade. Preheat a gas grill or prepare a charcoal fire.
  9. If oven baking, preheat oven to 450 F/232 C degrees and place the chicken on a large baking sheet. Can also place chicken on a rack on the baking sheet and can cover the bottom of the pan with foil for easier cleanup!
  10. Serve and enjoy!


By submitting your email address you consent to receive offers and promotions from Zabiha Halal and Living Halal. You can unsubscribe at anytime.