Lemon-Cumin Chicken with Carrot-Pine Nut-Golden Raisin Salad

The bold flavors of the lemon-cumin marinade make it superb for chicken, especially when it’s grilled. The lemon, spices and cilantro add a North African influence. If you prefer, you could make the salad in advance and refrigerate it. Remove it for an hour before serving and let it come to room temperature before adding the dressing to pick up its flavors and slightly wilt the romaine and carrot.

Chef Mike Isabella

    • Phases34
    • 4
    • 20 Minutes
    • 1 Hour
    • 10 Minutes
    • 1 Hour, 30 Minutes
    •  US  Metric
  • Nutritional information per serving

    • 9g
    • 15g
    • 6g
    • 38g
    • 40g
    • 560


  • Lemon-cumin marinade:
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, including stems, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chicken:
  • 4 (6-ounce) boned chicken breasts, skin on
  • Carrot salad:
  • 1 cup trimmed, peeled and julienned carrots* (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, thinly sliced across the spine
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoon golden raisins, soaked in water for 10 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Using a zester, microplane or box grater, remove the zest (peel) from the lemons, being careful not to include any of the bitter white pulp beneath the skin. Then juice both lemons.

  2. To make marinade: in a blender, purée the garlic, lemon zest, juice, paprika, cumin and cayenne. Add cilantro and purée, slowly adding 6 tablespoons of olive oil though the top of the cover to emulsify.

  3. Transfer the marinade to a roasting dish large enough to hold the chicken pieces and refrigerate. Once chilled, add the chicken and rub the marinade all over it. Return to the refrigerator, covered, for 1–2 hours, turning the chicken half way through.

  4. Preheat the grill to high or preheat the broiler.

  5. Remove the chicken from marinade and season with salt. Discard the marinade.

  6. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Let rest for 3–4 minutes before slicing each breast into five pieces.

  7. To prepare the salad, in a medium bowl, mix together carrots, romaine, cilantro, pine nuts, raisins, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. The carrots and romaine will become slightly wilted. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

  8. To serve, Place one-quarter of the carrot salad on each plate. Top each with a grilled chicken breast.

*The term julienne refers to thin matchstick-like strips. If you have a mandoline, it does the job beautifully.