Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon by Ottolenghi
Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon by Ottolenghi

I recently went on a tour of Newtown with some lovely bloggers and was asked how many cookbooks I actually owned. Well, I never really counted them, but I think its safe to say that I have around 200. I regret purchasing quite a few of them, they are usually the ones that are generically strung together by book publishers to raise revenue. Most of the time I only end up buying the junk because I’ve had a bad day and needed something new to cheer me up or there was one lone recipe that looked very enticing. Needless to say I don’t really cook from them.

I am often pulled towards cookbooks written by one or two people that are driven by their love for food. It isn’t just about the recipe (yes, a good set of recipes is important) but it is also about the produce, technique, history and most importantly passion.

Ottolenghi is certainly one of these cookbooks that I classify as a keeper. A cookbook that I see myself using for a very long time. Healthy recipes never looked so delicious, accessible and so darn sexy. In fact, healthy isn’t the first word that pops into one’s mind when looking at the recipe.

After the success of the Roasted Eggplant Salad and this Roasted Chicken I jumped online and purchased their followup cookbook Plenty. No doubt my blog will be flooded with their recipes in the days to come.

Roast Chicken with Sumac

Recipe by Ottolenghi – The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

1 large free-range chicken, divied into quarters
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sumac
1 lemon, thinly sliced
200ml chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons za’atar
20g butter
50g pine nuts
4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

Chicken Sumac zaatar

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern blend of dried thyme, spearmint, toasted sesame seed and sumac

1/ Place the chicken, garlic, spices, olive oil, onions, stock, lemon, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix. Allow it to marinate in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.

Roast Chicken with Sumac

2/ Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the chicken and the marinade into a large baking tray. Allow the chicken pieces to lie flat and be approximately an inch apart.

Ottolenghi Roast Chicken

3/ Whilst the chicken are cooking in the oven, melt the butter in a small frying pan, add the pine nuts and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they turn golden. Transfer them to plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the fat.

Chicken with Sumac

4/ When the chicken is done transfer it with the onions to a serving plate and garnish with the chopped parsley, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil. You can sprinkle on more za’atar and sumac to your tastes.

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and Lemon by Ottolenghi

Tips from the
* The lemon slices are best removed after being roasted. They taste severely bitter if you accidentally bite into one of them.
* The pan-fried pine nuts with butter were delicious. I could snack on these all day!
* Sprinkle on a little more of za’atar and sumac just before serving. It smells amazing!

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  1. Richard Elliot

    Looks wonderful. I’m so pleased I’ve bought my sister a copy of Plenty. Hopefully she’ll cook me lots of recipes from the book! 😉

  2. Maria @ Scandifoodie

    I’ve made chicken with sumac before and I absolutely loved the flavour! Pine nuts are so delicious too!

  3. dana

    lately i’ve really been hearing about these books everywhere i turn, looks like i have no choice but to order mine!

    the chicken looks great, i like the spice profile and those pine nuts on top take it to eleven. i know just what you mean about bitter 🙂
    beautiful pics!

  4. Gastronomy Gal

    I have maybe 50+ cook books and don’t have room for anymore! I’m like you though, plenty of these should be chucked out as they aren’t really useful only having one or two good recipes. I can’t quite bring myself to do that just yet though!

  5. Angie’s Recipes

    A gorgeous-looking chicken dish! I wish I could taste them now!

  6. grace

    wow. first of all, i didn’t realize how apt your blog name was–200? gadzooks! secondly, what a stellar dish. those exotic flavors make this unique and outstanding!

  7. mademoiselle délicieuse

    Okay, you definitely have more cookbooks than I ever thought! And I’ve only ever gotten rid of one of mine – my earliest one if I don’t remember wrong – but I gave it away to a friend.

  8. TasteHongKong

    Being a reader here, I get something extra. Thanks for sharing your tips along with the recipe.

  9. tasteofbeirut

    I have tried a salad from this same cookbook and liked it a lot; love this Palestinian classic recipe.

  10. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Over 200? I’m impressed…thats a lot! I guess your blog title is aptly titled then 🙂 My next job is to go through all my old foody magazines and cut out the recipes I like, rather than holding on to the whole thing- taking up valuable space!
    Chicken looks deeelicious… I still haven’t looked at this book, recipes from it keep popping up for me.

  11. john@heneedsfood

    Amy this is just beautiful! Gorgeous flavours and I’m sure it even tastes good cold

  12. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    Oh no, another amazing dish from this cookbook! Again, looks delicious. Got to love chicken cooked on the bone too. You really are in danger of pushing me into buying this!

  13. Trisha

    200 cookbooks? That is insane!!!!!! But the chicken looks absolutely delicious!

  14. Naomi

    200 insane? I don’t think so, but then again, I’m right there with you! This dish looks awesome. YUM!

  15. Helen (grabyourfork)

    This looks seriously tasty. Love the generosity of pine nuts and lol at your comment about not biting into the lemons!

  16. Juliana

    This chicken must taste delicious with all the spice in it…love the color of it 🙂

  17. Lisa @ bakebikeblog

    What a delighful dish!!
    Ps – I suspect my cook book collection has gotten a little out of hand too 😉

  18. angie

    Oh wow 200? Erm I probably have… 20,30 or at most 40? Haha =D
    Aww your chook looks so delish Amy! Well done =) Sif you can’t cook well.

  19. panda

    sounds like you and i have a similar sized bookshelf! i bought the first ottolenghi cookbook and just jumped online the other day to get myself a copy of plenty – can’t wait till it comes in next week!

  20. pigpigscorner

    oh wow! 200! I try not to buy too many since I have to keep moving =(

  21. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Isn’t it just the most super-fabulous book? We’ve just bought Plenty as well – made the eggplant and lentils dish yesterday. Must try this recipe, it looks divine! Thank you for the headsup! 🙂

  22. Vivienne

    Haha so you buy cookbooks like how some girls buy shoes…something to cheer you up 😉 The problem with me and cookbooks is that I haven’t cooked from most of them…most of them are dog-eared tho!
    Imagine that chicken must be pretty tasty with all the spices! yum!

  23. sweetlife

    200 cookbooks, wow girl, I hear ya sometimes I buy a cookbook for comfort, most of them are in a plastic bin…great chicken, I love your yellow bowl, I have the same one, great flavors and yes removing the lemon s called for wow bittter, I should know


  24. Kitchen Butterfly

    Don’t. Make me cave in and add Ottolenghi’s cookbooks to my expanding collection. I’ve seen so many pple rave about the recipes. It looks yum – especially me being partial to Middle Eastern food.

  25. Trissa

    Ottolenghi also ranks among my favourites – unfortunately haven’t tried this chicken dish yet but I love the sound of it – especially with the pinenuts. Beautiful presentation too.

  26. Melly Belly

    Great recipe! I want to make this now 😀

  27. Anne

    I also have this cookbook and would like to make this dish. Where can you buy the za’atar in sydney

  28. Ellie

    Ummm… Looks great! Why not cover the chicken so it stays more moist?

  29. caroline taylor

    Only 200!!!
    A mere beginner……. I started cataloguing mine then gave up when I reached the 493rd!!
    Mr Ottolenghi features twice in this hoard and his food never fails to excite!

  30. AnnHelen Parker

    Trying this recipe this evening for dinner!

  31. Diana

    Sounds so inviting to try; however, use a 200 degree oven? Is that an error? Recipe says to cook until done, which is fine, yet the 200 degree instruction with no timing seems odd. If you could please clarify, would so appreciate it!

  32. Lindyloo

    Can this dish be frozen??

  33. leek

    200 degrees celsius – try 400 F or so?