Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar, and Lemon

Sumac and Za’atar are two of my favorite spices/seasonings to work with – I love the flavors.  When I saw this recipe from Spendid Table, based on a Palestinian called m’sakhan, I put it on my list to make.  Somehow it has taken a long time before I got around to it, but I’m glad we finally did.  We both liked it a lot, and it’s very easy – marinade, roast, done.  We had it with roasted butternut squash and broccoli for a nice fall meal.


•    1 whole chicken cut up (or you could purchase a chicken and cut it yourself, but I’m lazy)
•    1 onions, thinly sliced
•    3 cloves garlic, crushed
•    2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
•    1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
•    1 tsp ground cinnamon
•    1 tbsp sumac
•    1 lemon, thinly sliced
•    scant 1 cup / 200 ml chicken stock or water
•    1 1/2 tsp salt, plus extra
•    1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•    2 tbsp za’atar
•    4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, olive oil, spices, lemon, stock, salt, and pepper. Leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking sheet large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces lying flat and spaced well apart. They should be skin side up. Sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken and onions and put the pan in the oven. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is colored and just cooked through.

Transfer the hot chicken and onions to a serving plate and finish with the chopped parsley, pine nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil. You can sprinkle on more za’atar and sumac, if you like.


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