Basic spice rub
A flavorful rub can elevate humble chicken breasts and thighs to restaurant-quality status. Equal parts of chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, and sugar form the backbone of this blend that gets punched up further with onion and garlic powders, dried oregano, and salt. The versatility of this rub makes it a great seasoning for lean ground meat for tacos, delicious dusted on top of roasted broccoli or cauliflower, and it adds a flavorful pop to steamed or mashed sweet potatoes. Swap the oregano for dried thyme, sage, tarragon, or marjoram to tweak the flavor.
- Stir together all ingredients. Use about 1 tablespoon of rub per pound of chicken, or 1 teaspoon for each 4- to 6-ounce thigh or skinless boneless breast. Sprinkle the mixture over the meat and gently massage it in with your fingers. Let it sit for a few minutes, or cover and refrigerate chicken breasts or thighs for up to 4 hours and bone-in chicken pieces up to overnight. Store leftover rub in an airtight jar for up to 2 months.