Sumac is a very unique spice- there is nothing else like it, and it’s hard to substitute because nothing else really comes close in terms of flavor. It’s lemony and tart with surprising depth and an unusual complexity. It is traditionally used in Middle Eastern cuisine, added to everything from meat rubs and kebabs to yogurt dips giving dishes a unique brightness. I love it roasted with cauliflower, on avocado toast, or sprinkled over a soft boiled egg or hummus. I hope you track down this spice and add it to your repertoire. There is so much to love about it!
A whole chicken is quartered. You can also use skin on, bone in chicken thighs or breasts for this too…just remember to adjust cooking time.
Make the simple marinade and coat the chicken.
Slice the Meyer lemons and lay them down in a baking dish.
Lay the marinated chicken and all the juices over the lemons.
Roast in a hot oven until cooked through ( thigh reaches 170F).
Spoon the flavorful pan juices over the chicken, and sprinkle with Aleppo chili pepper ( optional) .
Aleppo chili pepper is a mild and sunny chile from the Aleppo region of Syria. It has a moderate heat that doesn’t overpower its fruity complex flavor. It’s truly divine.
Serve with rice and salad.
- 5-6 pound whole chicken
- 2 meyer lemons
- 1 Tablespoon sumac
- 5 cloves garlic- finely minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ C olive oil
- 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Aleppo pepper- garnish
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Rice and pat dry chicken. Remove backbone of chicken using kitchen scissors and cut chicken into quarters.
- In a small bowl mix garlic, oil, salt and sumac and juice from ½ a meyer lemon juice ( about ⅛ Cup).
- Cut the remaining 1 ½ lemons into ¼ inch slices and spread out on a baking dish or sheet pan. Add a few springs of thyme over the lemon slices.
- Rub each piece of chicken, coating all sides well with the sumac marinade and lay skin side up, over the sliced lemons and thyme.
- Place in the middle of a hot oven and roast for 50 minutes or longer, until chicken is cooked through, reaching 170F in the thigh, and skin is crispy. To increase crispiness, broil for a few minutes under a careful watch, not to burn.
- To serve, spoon a little of the sauce from the pan, over the chicken, garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and sprinkle with Aleppo pepper ( optional).