Roast chicken with sumac, za’atar and lemon

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September 21, 2014 by dgarnett2013

Roast chicken with sumac, za’atar and lemon: Ottolenghi, The Cookbook


Serves 4 – 5


  • 1 large free-range chicken, divided into quarters – breast and wing, leg and thigh
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tabs olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1½ tsp ground allspice (pimento)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tab sumac
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 200ml chicken stock or water
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tabs za’atar
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 4 tabs chopped flat-leaf parsley


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

Preheat the oven to 200℃. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking tray large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces lying flat and spaced apart. They should be skin side up. Sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken and onions and put the tray in the oven.


Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is coloured and just cooked through.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small frying pan, add the pine nuts and a pinch of salt and cook over a moderate heat, stirring constantly, until they turn golden. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the fat.

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.

Made the day we went to Petersham Nurseries.

petersham petersham2


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