Photo by: Richard Learoyd

Roast chicken with sumac, za’atar and lemon

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

This is a simplified version of the traditional Palestinian dish M’sakhan, where chicken is spiced with sumac and then roasted in the oven over bread. Sumac and za’atar ( page xii) that we love and use so much are combined here with fresh lemon to give the chicken a powerful sharp kick. It works fantastically well, and is almost addictive. Try serving with warm pita bread and a garlicky yoghurt sauce, made by mixing Greek yoghurt with crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Serves 4

(p 122, The Ottolenghi cookbook)


The method for this recipe is available in the book Ottolenghi, The Cookbook, available to buy here.
Ottolenghi, The Cookbook |

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Perfect with

  1. Palestinian za'atar

    Possibly our favourite spice mix: versatile, warming, distinctive, delicous

    Palestinian za'atar

  2. Pine nuts

    These elegant and longer-than-usual nuts are for sprinkling and showcasing

    Pine nuts

  3. Sumac

    Yotam's desert island spice, for a lemony kick to your cooking



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