Chicken is just a bland piece of meat where you can be its ultimate tastemaker! The flavor of your chicken dish solely depends on what you use in it. So, let’s check out some of the best spices for chicken.
The spices you use for chicken are the key to seasoning and preparing it for any recipe. Hence, the following spices are considered the best for this meat:
Use this guide and learn in depth how these spices can work in different types of chicken dishes you make.
The Best 07 Spices For Chicken
Popular as the most versatile type of meat in the world, chicken calls for endless varieties of recipes made in thousands of different ways, varying according to the cuisine. Rewarding you with relatively less cooking time, chicken can be fried, roasted, grilled, baked, souped, curried, pickled, and you name it!
Whatever the way it is made, it is not a secret that almost every cuisine around the world uses spices more or less to season this meat to suit their palates. However, most of the essential and regular spices that lie in your spice cabinet can do wonders with your favorite chicken dishes when paired with the right ingredients.
So, here goes the list of the best spices to go with this meat- mix and match your favorite flavors!
01- Black Pepper
We don’t really think we could find any household without black pepper! In fact, this spice makes the universal and the most effortless seasoning when paired with salt.
But, the earthy, woody, peppery, and piney flavor notes of this spice have a more buildable taste paired with other flavorings like garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, cloves, thyme, cilantro, parsley, etc. In fact, black pepper is considered an all-purpose seasoning that goes with any chicken recipe.
Pepper chicken stir fries, chicken salads, and black pepper chicken curry are some of the popular and easy recipes you can try.
This is a spice that flavors chicken to its best level in all its forms- raw garlic, garlic powder, granulated garlic, garlic salt, etc. You can find garlic in most seasoning blends or spice blends that you often use to flavor this meat. This spice is generally paired with ginger and onion.
Its pungent and distinctive flavor also teams up with other ingredients like black pepper, oregano, coriander, cumin., etc., and is very effective to be incorporated into marinades, rubs, and curries. Whole, crushed garlic cloves are often included in slow-cooking chicken dishes, and it also pairs well with citruses like lemon and orange.
Fresh and ground ginger are considered one of the best flavor enhancements for chicken, especially when paired with garlic. While fresh ginger is incorporated into chicken dishes that require cooking or boiling, ground ginger is mostly added to wet rubs, dry rubs, or marinades.
The aroma of this spice can mask any unappetizing odors of chicken while the robust, earthy, slightly citrusy, and sweet flavor elements blend with other spices and herbs like lemongrass, cilantro, coriander seeds, cumin, etc., to make heavenly dishes for your family meals!
04- Red Chile Powder
You can find many types of red chile powders in the market belonging to several heat levels. And you know what the best part is- all of them go really well with chicken! Red chile powder types like cayenne, chipotle, New Mexico, Ancho, and varieties of paprika are widely used in Western cuisine, while more heaty types are used in Asian cuisine.
However, you must keep in mind that red chile powder does not lend a serious flavor enhancement to your chicken dish. Still, it offers vibrant color and a considerable amount of heat and spiciness. If you use a type like smoked paprika, the story is different since it gives out a distinctive smokiness which is perfect for chicken!
This spice should be paired with other gentle and pungent spices like garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, and herbs, along with other flavorings. Red chile powder types like cayenne, paprika, and chipotle are often incorporated into rubs and marinades, while more intense varieties are included in richly spiced chicken curries and other dishes.
Did you know that there are various ways that you can use to season the chicken, and each one of them depends on the recipe you make? Follow this link and refer to our detailed article for more information!
Cumin is actually not a very piquant spice, but it is potent enough to give a characteristic flavor to this meat, even all by itself! This spice is significantly earthy, with nutty, woody, and slight bitter-sweet elements. Ground cumin often becomes a popular inclusion in many spice blends and seasonings used for chicken.
At the same time, whole cumin seeds usually play a significant role in many Asian/Indian-style chicken dishes. Pair cumin with other ingredients like coriander, dried chiles, chile powder, mint, garlic, etc., to come up with more delicious roasted, baked, grilled, fried, cooked, or barbecued chicken.
Glazes made using various sauces such as Sriracha, tabasco, and sweet and sour chili sauce also go well with the unique taste of this spice. Adjust them to your creativity level!
We know cinnamon never runs out of your kitchen during the holiday season! But did you know that it also makes a tasty difference in most of your chicken dishes? It certainly does, mostly when ground cinnamon is paired with complementary ingredients like nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, chili powder, etc.
The distinctive sweet, earthy, slightly peppery, and woodsy undertones of cinnamon go really well with the richness of the chicken. While whole cinnamon sticks are included in slow-cooking or liquid-based chicken recipes, ground cinnamon primarily becomes a part of wet rubs, dry rubs, and marinades.
Piquantly spiced cloves are one of the most intense spices lying in your spice rack. It is also an intensely aromatic spice with a subtly sweet, warm, and astringent aftertaste. Ground cloves are included in robust chicken seasoning blends, while whole pods are also used more or less in many chicken recipes.
However, this spice ideally goes well with chicken recipes that call out for a profound taste. Thus, it is often paired with other warm spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, cardamom, and savory herbs. Cloves are used in moderation since it has the ability to overpower a dish easily.
Concluding With The Best Spices For Chicken…
As you see, many staple spices that are already a part of your pantry help to bring out the best flavor in the chicken. However, it is essential to understand that each spice is unique in its flavor and aroma; thus, they need proper blending and pairing to give the best taste to your favorite chicken recipe.
Not all spices go with frying, roasting, baking, or grilling. In fact, some spices preferably lend their flavors to recipes made according to a specific method, which you NEED to keep in mind.