Libyan Inspired Fried Chicken (Dajaj Maghli)

Fried chicken has become popular in Libya since the fall of the Ghadaffi regime, much of it in the American (KFC) style ~ King Chicken, Uncle Kentaki, etc ~ that had been banned before.  I pieced this recipe together partially because it’s not American style. Instead of breading, a seasoned yogurt marinade brings all the flavors together in an uncommon way

Interestingly, there aren’t a lot of fried chicken recipes in general out there, and most them are called dajaj maghli (boiled chicken), rather than the literal dajaj maqulin.  I assume it’s a local Arabic dialect thing.

Anyway, it’s super easy to make, and an insta-classic here at home.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Rest time: 1 hour+
Cooking time: 30 minutes

White plate with slightly charred chicken thigh. To the left is a small amount of carrot salad.

Shopping List:

  • 1-2 pieces of skin-on chicken per person (I prefer thighs) up to six people.
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp cumin

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken, and toss to coat.

To marinade, Put the chicken & contents of a bowl in a vacuum bag or Ziploc and squish things around to make sure everything stays coated evenly.  Set that in the fridge for at least an hour.

To cook, in oil or in an air fryer, wipe off the excess marinade and fry the chicken at around 350F for 15 minutes a side.  You may need to do it in batches (especially in oil) because crowding will make them cook oddly.  I prefer to slit the chicken pieces to make sure they’re cooked thru.

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