Toasted Spice Rub - Michael Chiarello

READY IN: 8mins
Recipe by Julesong

This spice mix from Michael Chiarello and NapaStyle goes well in many different dishes. It and his Fennel Spice are mixes well-worth keeping a steady supply of!

Top Review by toss01bx

I made this recipe back in August 2014 and have been using it for a few months now. I had a store-bought can of the original NapaStyle version and this is a perfect replica. That said, the fennel flavors do not appeal to everyone; and the reviews I get from dinner guests proves this to be the case. It really is great on chicken and pork. I use it a couple of times a month both on oven baked and grilled meats. Make a small batch and give it a whirl, it's a nice change from the usual.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Read this recipe all the way through before beginning, get your spices and equipment (skillet, plate, blender, alternate method grinder, and storing container) ready.
  2. In a small, heavy skillet over medium heat, toast the fennel, coriander, and peppercorns.
  3. Watch carefully, because when the fennel turns a light brown you’re going to work quickly: turn on the hood exhaust fan on your stove, then add the red pepper flakes and stir well for 30 seconds.
  4. Turn the mixture onto a plate to cool.
  5. When cool, place mixture in a blender together with the chili powder, salt, and cinnamon; blend until all are evenly ground.
  6. (Alternately, you can use a spice mill/coffee grinder/mortar and pestle to grind the fennel, coriander, peppercorns, and chili flakes, then toss resultant powder with the remaining ingredients).
  7. Transfer the spice rub into a glass jar and store in a cool, dry place; you can also freeze the mixture.
  8. Note: if you prefer a mixture that is less spicy-hot, make sure you use mild California chili powder and/or begin with fewer red pepper flakes, then add to your preference; California chiles in powder are generally less hot and more sweet.
  9. On chicken: sear a chicken in a little olive oil, let cool, pat the rub generously over the bird, then roast it.
  10. Use as dry rub or dry marinade: rub into meat or poultry, refrigerate 4 hours, bring to room temperature, then roast, pan-sear, or grill.
  11. Finishing rub: blend with just enough olive oil to make a paste, then use as a marinade or to finish grilled steaks and seafood.
  12. Other uses: toss with vegetables before pan-roasting, or add to soups and stews.

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