Recipe courtesy of Michael Haye

Split Whole Cumin Chicken

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 20 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 (4 to 6-pound) chicken


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces honey

1 bunch freshly chopped cilantro leaves

1 quart buttermilk


2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons paprika

4 tablespoons ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves fresh minced garlic

Basting liquid:

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons ground cumin

3 tablespoons fennel seed


  1. For the rub:
  2. Mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  3. For the basting liquid:
  4. Combine the ingredients in small bowl and place by the grill with a brush for basting.
  5. Place chicken breast down. Grab tail and cut along the back bone, do the same on the other side and remove the back bone.
  6. Add the marinade to a resealable bag and add the chicken. Let marinate for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  7. Remove chicken from marinade and pat skin dry. Coat the skin of the chicken with the rub and carefully place some of the rub under skin. Return to the refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and place the bone sides down. Tuck legs and wings to breast. Butcher string is great for this, just cross the legs and tie them so that only the joint of the thigh is touching the grill. Grill over direct flame or high heat for 10 to 15 minutes with the grill closed.
  9. After 10 to 15 minutes turn the heat to medium-low or move chicken from direct heat and grill until cooked through, basting every 15 minutes.
  10. When cooked through, remove the chicken from the grill and peel off the skin. Place the chicken, flesh side down, on the grill over high heat to get grill marks. Place the reserved skin on the top level of grill to crisp. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Chop the crisped skin on a cutting board and sprinkle over the chicken.