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Roast Chicken with Cumin and Cilantro Scallion Salsa Recipe

by Jeanette on June 5, 2013 · 17 Comments
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Roast Cumin Chicken with Cilantro Scallion Salsa has made an appearance on our dinner table for the last several years. The Cilantro Scallion Salsa brightens up this dish and comes together quickly.
Roasted Cumin Chicken with Cilantro Scallion Salsa © Jeanette's Healthy Living

I first made this chicken dish four years ago when I spotted it in the Sunday New York Times. This is a Puerto Rican inspired recipe, served with rice and beans. I’d forgotten about this recipe until recently when I was scrambling to get dinner on the table quickly.

I always have chicken in my refrigerator, so I can braise, roast or grill it for dinner. By varying the way I prepare it, I can get away with serving chicken almost every day of the week. Jamaican, Asian, Peruvian , and Middle Eastern recipes are just some of the different ways I’ve prepared this inexpensive cut of meat.
Roasted Cumin Chicken with Cilantro Scallion Salsa © Jeanette's Healthy Living
This recipe comes together quickly. Chicken pieces are tossed with ground cumin (I roast my own cumin seeds and grind them for better flavor), salt and pepper. Olive oil is drizzled on top, and the chicken is roasted for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the Cilantro Scallion Salsa can be made.
Roasted Chicken with Cumin and Cilantro Scallion Salsa © Jeanette's Healthy Living
I made this recently as part of our church’s Angel Meal’s program, for a family who just had a baby, and made some Peruvian Green Chile Sauce (Aji Verde) to go with it in place of Cilantro Scallion Salsa, and it was really good. You can serve this with rice and beans as is traditional with a chicken dish like this, or with a simple green salad.

What’s your go-to recipe on busy weeknights?

Roast Chicken with Cumin and Cilantro Scallion Salsa

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8

Serve with a simple tossed salad and steamed brown rice, or with rice and beans. I've also served this chicken with Peruvian Green Chile Sauce (Aji Verde) and it is wonderful.


  • 3 pounds chicken, cut up
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (for extra flavor, toast whole cumin seeds and grind in a coffee mill)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Cilantro Scallion Salsa
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of a lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and cumin. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Place chicken on parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  4. While chicken is roasting, make Cilantro Scallion Salsa by combining cilantro, scallion, garlic, lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
  5. Serve chicken with Cilantro Scallion Salsa.


Adapted from New York Times.


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  1. We are the same way with chicken around here! The possibilities are endless, which makes it the perfect thing to keep on hand. I think my hubby would love this dish!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Faith – thank goodness chicken is so versatile – it’s a great low-cost source of protein, and with 4 boys, I’m always conscious of our grocery bill. I’m always looking for ways to “recreate” chicken in a new way that appeals to my family.

  2. Such simple flavors but I bet amazing taste. We are having chicken tonight and I was just going to grill it (or really have my husband grill it lol). I may make this instead!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Alyssa – it always amazes me that the simplest flavors can pack so much punch. Like you, I believe whole foods when used on their own have tons of natural flavor.

  3. I love how incredibly easy, flavorful and colorful this recipe is, Jeanette! A must-make on my dinner menu, for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Georgia – this is really easy and great for making in larger quantities in you’re making a meal for another family or for company.

  4. Yum, this looks SO tasty – super delicious! :)

  5. I have a lot of cilantro that I have to finish in a few days, and this sounds like a perfect recipe!! We love wings, so I’m going to try with all chicken wings. Thanks for sharing, really excited to eating this already!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Nami – I love using sauces to brighten up chicken – I think it would be great with your wings too!

  6. That salsa sounds so good to me! Such a fun new use of scallions!

  7. look delicious… wanna to try this… thanks for sharing this…

  8. Cilantro scallion salsa, I love it! What a beautiful dish.

  9. Jeanette Jeanette says:

    Thanks Carolyn – I love using salsas to make dinner more interesting and fun!

  10. I love how fresh the scallion and cilantro is to contrast the roast chicken. Those types of dishes always end up being my favorite. The Angel Meals programs are wonderful. What a blessing!

  11. I’ll have to try it! My 8 yr old actually likes most of these spices.

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