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Grilled Chicken with Fennel-Cumin Rub

Grilled Chicken with Fennel-Cumin Rub

We were fortunate to live for several years a few minutes from the beautiful Ogunquit Beach, a 1.5 mile strip of undeveloped sand and dune grasses. With cheek-by-jowl houses virtually the entire length of the Maine coastline, the Ogunquit beach is a calm, restful place and a reminder of the natural beauty that once stretched for thousands of pristine miles on these shores (the beach and the marshes behind it are held by the town as a nature preserve and recreation area). Piping plovers, harp seals, hermit crabs and flocks of gulls are the only residents of this zone, though there are guest appearances now and then from bald eagles, migrating ducks and geese and the occasional schools of dolphin or porpoise.

A sunset picnic on the beach with friends is one of our most cherished pleasures. Our favorite menu: cold grilled chicken, Burkettville Grange Cornbread and my spicy coleslaw.

Grilled Chicken with Fennel-Cumin Rub

10 servings


  • Two chickens, around 7 - 8 pound total, cut into serving pieces, skin removed*

For the rub:

  •   2 tablespoons salt
  •   4 tablespoons sugar
  •   2 tablespoons ground cumin
  •   1 teaspoon szechwan pepper powder
  •   1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  •   2 tablespoons ground fennel
  •   4 tablespoons paprika


1. Wash and dry the chicken parts.

2. Combine the rub ingredients and mix well. 

3. Roll the chicken in the rub, patting rub into all surfaces. 

4. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 - 20 minutes. 

5. Grill on a medium charcoal fire with a few chunks of soaked hardwood (I usually use hickory) added for smoke. Turn chicken occasionally and rotate smaller pieces to the cooler parts of the grill. Remove from fire when chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160º - around 25 - 30 minutes. Cover with foil and allow to rest for about 15 minutes before serving. 

May be served hot or cold. 

*Tip: Most supermarkets with full-service butcher counters will remove the skin from your chicken if requested. 

Nutritional Estimate (Without skin.) 10 Servings. Per serving: 203 Calories; 3 g Total Carbs; 1 g Dietary Fiber; 3 g Sugars; 7 g Fat; 91 mg Cholesterol; 783 mg Sodium; 30 g Protein. Weight Watchers: 4 points. 


The picture above shows this dish with the skin on the chicken. It was made during my diagnosed-with-prediabetes-but--in-denial phase. I find the skinless version every bit as tasty and satisfying as the original but you can make your own decision. The Nutritional Estimate for the skin-on version is presented below. 

In either case grilled chicken is a low-carb choice so if your weight is under control the original version would be fine for someone on a glucose-control regimen. 

Nutritional Estimate  (Skin on.) 10 Servings. Per serving: 297 Calories; 3 g Total Carbs; 1 g Dietary Fiber; 3 g Sugars; 14 g Fat; 109 mg Cholesterol; 797 mg Sodium; 34 g Protein. Weight Watchers: 7 points. 

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It's always nice to have a table with a view!

Ohmygod I love the chicken basking on the sands of Ogunquit. Stephen, I love your gorgeous blog. I can tell the recipes, photos and narrative come from a truly passionate foody soul. If I ever do bother to cook in my entire life, I'll visit your library of fabulous recipes first.
E (, NOT as one friend erroneously thought, but that is an interesting variation...)

I totally agree with Erica, you are truly passionate about the food you cook. I can just feel the warmth and passion just from your narration alone.

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