Roasted Chicken with Za’atar and Sumac

December 17th, 2013


Cold weather always puts me in a chicken roasting mood.  It makes the house smell delicious and makes for a cozy meal.  I am always looking for new things to spice my chicken up with…Ottolenghi: the cookbook  (by my new favorite cookbook authors!) never disappoints.  They know just how to combine the most interesting spices to create amazing dishes.  Thankfully we have an amazing spice shop in town where I can always find all of the interesting ingredients needed. Of course I always need to add my healthy twists to all of the recipes…a bit less oil, skinless chicken, etc.  But I promise all of the flavor is still there!  Give this one a try, you’re sure to impress all of your dinner guests…


Roasted Chicken with Za’atar and Sumac

1 large organic, free-range chicken, divided into quarters, skin removed (you could use all skinless chicken breasts if you prefer)

2 red onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon sumac

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1 cup low-sodium organic chicken stock

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons za’atar

3 tablespoons pine nuts

4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley


In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, olive oil, allspice, cinnamon, sumac, lemons, broth, salt and pepper.  Leave in the refrigerator to marinate for a few hours or overnight (I like to marinate it for 24 hours).

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking sheet large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces lying flat and spaced well apart. Sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken and onions and put the pan into the oven. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is colored and just cooked through.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over medium heat, add the pine nuts and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring constantly, until they turn golden.

Transfer the hot chicken and onions to a serving plate.  Sprinkle with more za’atar and sumac and finish with the chopped parsley, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.

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