Roast Chicken with Za’atar and Sumac by Yotam Ottolenghi


This week I’m sharing a delicious meat recipe from one of my favourite chefs Ottolenghi: roast chicken with za’atar, sumac and lemon. This recipe for Ottolenghi’s roast chicken comes from his debut cookbook, Ottolenghi, first published in 2008.

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

The bestselling cookbook features all the best recipes from his deli & restaurant Ottolenghi in London. I’m a big fan of the Israeli chef and of his recipes, like this Puy Lentils with Oven Dried Tomatoes & Gorgonzola or this Chocolate Babka.

I first tasted this roast chicken dish at a friend’s house, she is a chef and has previously worked for Yotam Ottolenghi. I loved the dish and decided to try the recipe at home a few days later. Here’s the result.

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

The chicken is marinated first with spices and lemon to cut through all the different flavours. Whether it’s a Porter meat or a freshly-bought chicken, make sure to marinade them to lock in the flavour inside. It’s then roasted and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and parsley.

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

This recipe is easy to make, quick and it looks pretty, so it’s great for when you have friends coming over for lunch/dinner and you don’t want to spend too much time cooking. Your guests will be impressed!

Yotam Ottolenghi Roast Chicken with Za'atar, Sumac and Lemon recipe

Yotam Ottolenghi was one of the first chefs to define modern Israeli cuisine and capitulated it to global fame through his wildly popular cookbooks. Ottolenghi recipes are known for celebrating the wonderful array of spices found in the Israeli kitchen and the use of fresh, seasonal vegetables.

Quote from Delicious Israel.

Chiarofiore wine 2012 from Tuscany, Italy

I served the roast chicken with a side of baked potatoes and a glass of Tuscan Chiarofiore 2012, a natural wine made of 70% Trebbiano grapes and 30% Vermentino grapes. Chiarofiore is a wine with a peculiar colour, orange, as it is made with white grapes fermented on the skins as if it were a red. The final result is a wine with a strong yellow-gold colour and rosy tinges.

Chiarofiore wine 2012 from Tuscany, Italy


  • 1 large chicken, divided into quarters
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper


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

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking tray large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces lying flat and spaced apart (skin-side up).

Yotam Ottolenghi Roast Chicken with Za'atar, Sumac and Lemon recipe

Sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken and put the tray in the oven. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is 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 roast chicken and onions to a serving plate and finish with the chopped parsley and pine nuts.

Roast Chicken with Za'atar and Sumac by Ottolenghi

If you love chicken, you might also want to try these recipes: Linguine Pasta with Slow Cooked Chicken and Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk & Cashews.

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Claudia Brick
19/12/2015 07:00

Just like everything Ottolenghi comes up with, this marinade looks utterly gorgeous! So many flavours going on, I love all the spices and the finish with fresh herbs and pinenuts. Beautiful photos too – I will be back here for the recipe, I am sure of it! <3

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