Roast chicken with sumac, za'atar and lemon from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (page 122) by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

  • ground allspice
  • whole chicken
  • ground cinnamon
  • lemons
  • red onions
  • parsley
  • sumac
  • zathar
  • pine nuts
  • stock

Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

Always check the publication for a full list of ingredients. An Eat Your Books index lists the main ingredients and does not include 'store-cupboard ingredients' (salt, pepper, oil, flour, etc.) - unless called for in significant quantity.

Notes about this recipe

  • Rachaelsb on April 08, 2022

    Very good, but not amazing.

  • Fyretigger on March 14, 2022

    I realize the hubris of adjusting a recipe by Ottolenghi, but for my taste, I would like a bit more lemon.

  • lelito on November 09, 2020

    I enjoyed it a lot. The marinade is one of the best I’ve ever tried. The contrast with garlicky yoghurt completes a great dish wonderfully.

  • KarinaFrancis on February 08, 2020

    I liked this but didn’t love it. The flavours were nice but it was either lacking something or the stock muted everything? Enjoyed it but not enough to make it again

  • cjross on April 15, 2017

    Surprised to see most people weren't too impressed with this recipe as I thought it was delicious. My husband said the breast was a bit bland but my leg was yummy so next time I might just buy chicken legs instead of quartering the chicken myself. I let it marinate for about six hours. Agreed that lining the pan with foil is a good idea.

  • adelina on August 24, 2015

    I made this the night before as a one pot meal. It's really important to season well with salt and sumac. It's also important to season the onions well. I did not let it marinate more than half hour due to time. I followed everything to the tea, but assembly was in a pot with addition of baby potatoes. The added pine nuts with the pottery parsley were a great addition. Cooking it in a one pot, the juices of the chicken remained and gave an additional depth of flavor. It tasted perfect the next day and the family loved it.

  • LeePicard on July 09, 2015

    I agree with the four star rating. I marinated the chicken for about 4 hours. I thought it was very good but not extraordinary. The pine nuts were a good addition for a nice crunch but I think I could have used them more sparingly and had the same effect. I served this over couscous and the chicken really flavored the couscous as I served it on top with some pan juices. The foil on the baking sheet for easy cleanup is a must. I have to add that I love dishes that I can marinate the night before and then just cook when I get home from work. This is one of those so I think my family will have it again!

  • Laura on September 12, 2014

    The chicken was perfectly cooked at 40 minutes. It was really moist. The flavors were more subtle than I expected. I didn't include the bread. I really enjoyed it, while husband thought it was a bit boring. There's a lot of prep involved to prepare the marinade, but once that's done, the rest is a breeze. I marinated it for about 9 hours. I'd make this again, but since husband wasn't crazy about it, I probably won't.

  • Delys77 on September 12, 2014

    Overall this was pretty good, but much like some of the others I found that the results weren't necessarily worth repeating. The caramelized onions with the touch of lemon and spices were very nice with the chicken, but I definitely agree that the pine nuts didn't do much for the dish.

  • mgwalter on May 25, 2014

    This came out great, except with soggy chicken skin. The sauce which was in the roasting pan was heavenly, so we peeled off the skin and ladeled on the sauce. Was only able to marinade the chicken for about an hour, but it was incredibly flavorful thanks to the sauce the and heavy hand of spices and herbs this dish calls for. Will most definitely make this again.

  • FJT on March 16, 2014

    A little disappointed by this one - the flavour was OK but I won't be rushing to make it again!

  • Queezle_Sister on December 31, 2013

    The only real complaint from my family was that this chicken "too flavorful" - voiced by my 15 yr old daughter. I allowed the chicken to marinate for 24h, and for me, this allowed the chicken to really pick up the flavors. Next time I would use less red onion -- I used only one, but it was huge, and for just a single scrawny chicken. There was so much onion that I think it inhibited the chicken from getting really crisp. I might also use slightly less lemon - maybe only 1/2 sliced. The kids found the flavor a bit too sour, but adults just loved it.

  • L.Nightshade on May 22, 2011

    Sorry to report that this dish didn't hit home with us. I was pretty excited about it, and I very much liked the aroma while cooking. I also liked the idea of roasting the chicken on a tray together with the onions, etc. I did marinate the chicken for over eight hours, but didn't feel that the tastes really merged, or that the chicken picked up a lot of flavor. And as much as I like pine nuts, I felt they were just sitting on top of the chicken without a lot of purpose. I had fresh, fragrant za'atar, so I don't think that is the issue either. Don't get me wrong, we didn't hate it, it was decent, just not great. Could try it again and brine the chicken first, but I don't think I give it a second go.

  • Jane on May 20, 2011

    I actually was disappointed with this dish, the first time that has happened with an Ottolenghi recipe. It's probably my own fault as I didn't marinate the chicken for long enough - just 1.5 hours rather than his recommendation of a few hours to overnight. Also I think my za'atar was rather stale. And I hadn't noticed cjb's recommendation to line the pan with foil, which would have been a good idea as the pan was a complete mess. But even with all those shortcomings from my side I don't feel interested enough in this to make it again.

  • Breadcrumbs on May 02, 2011

    p. 122 -Happy to report the recipe did not disappoint; we loved it. I used a mandoline to slice my onions super-thin, I used a large zip-lock bag to marinate the chicken overnight. The Za’atar I used was purchased pre-mixed at a local Persian market it was imported from Jordan.The caramelized onions and lemon, the earthy pop of the pine nuts and the herb and spice infused chicken pieces all came together to make a wonderful, delicious dish. We loved this, I’ll definitely make it again. I served it w some Tzatziki on the side and the Greek-Style Potatoes with Lemon and Thyme from A New Way To Cook, a past COTM by Sally Schneider. Photos here:

  • mirage on June 26, 2010

    Quite good! Line pan with foil.

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