With rustic Middle Eastern flavors, this Sumac chicken is an absolute stunner of a dish.
The tangy Sumac comes together with the kick of harissa to lend a nice balance of flavor to the roasted chicken.
It comes together with some simple ingredients and just a few minutes of hands-on kitchen time, making it the perfect weeknight dinner option.
I’ve actually been trying a lot of recipes using Sumac.
And then I thought, why not prepare a quick marinade using it and make a nice roast chicken dish?
What's So Great About the Recipe?
My favorite part about this recipe is the fact that it is so simple, yet so flavorful.
The caramelized onions complement the juicy and flavorful chicken make this recipe a great dinner for the entire family.
Team it up with some rice or pita bread and you’ve got yourself a wholesome, filling meal.
Ingredients For the Sumac Chicken Recipe
To make this Palestinian style roasted Sumac chicken, here’s all you’ll need.
Chicken: Fresh chicken drumsticks or legs are the best choice for this recipe.
Onion: I would recommend using red onion to lend the dish those classic Palestinian flavors, but you could also choose to use white onions if that’s what you have at hand.
Sumac: Sumac powder is the hero ingredient here. Start off with a little and then add more if you want to.
Harissa powder: I also added a bit of dry Harissa (yes, it exists!) to lend a bit of spice to the dish.
Salt and pepper: And of course, a bit of salt and pepper to season the chicken.
Oil: You’ll also need about a tablespoon of olive oil. You could use any other oil of your choice, but I would recommend sticking to extra virgin olive oil for the perfect Mediterranean flavors.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Sumac Chicken
Ready to make the Palestinian roast chicken? Here’s what you’ll need to do.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the onions.
Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a skillet or a heavy bottomed pan and add the chicken and sliced onions.
Pan roast until the chicken is cooked and tender on both sides. Serve with a salad or rice.
Substitutions & Variations
- If you don’t have the Harissa powder but still want a bit of heat, you can add 1 tablespoon of allspice into the marinade mix.
- Sumac and lemon are a match made in heaven, and if you’re able to get some lemon (ideally Meyer lemon), don’t forget to squeeze some of that juice over the top, right before you serve.
To lend some extra flavor and deliciousness to the dish, top it with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley and some pine nuts too.
How to Store Leftover Sumac Chicken
Use a large bowl or plastic container to store your leftover chicken. Make sure you cover it up with a lid, and then reheat the chicken in the microwave or in a pan over medium heat.
You can also take the flesh of each piece of chicken, shred it and team it up with some onion slices or a nice crunchy salad and wrap it up in a simple flatbread to turn it into an easy and flavorful Middle Eastern wrap.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- I used chicken legs for this recipe, but you can also choose to use other cuts of chicken, or a whole chicken if you want to. I would recommend using a mix of thighs and drumsticks for best results- they get cooked super quick and are super tender too.
- If you want the chicken to have a bit of crispness on the outside, use skin-on chicken as opposed to skinless chicken.
- I used a heavy duty roasting pan to make the chicken, but you could also choose to cook it in a rimmed baking sheet or a greased sheet pan in the oven.
- If you don’t have fresh herbs, add some dried mint into the marinade or serve with some fresh mint leaves on the side.
- I also like to add a bit of cumin powder into the marinade to lend it some delicious rustic flavor.
- You can also choose to season the chicken pieces in advance and refrigerate them overnight. This will help them take in more of those flavors and will turn them more juicy and flavorful.
How to Serve Roast Chicken with Sumac
Sumac chicken actually makes for a super easy dinner for the whole family.
You can pair it with some Taboon bread if you’re able to get your hands on it, or enjoy the baked chicken with some steamed rice or any other flatbread of your choice.
To take it up a notch, you can also team it up with a nice salad on the side. Fatoosh salad is a great choice, but if you’re looking for something more filling and wholesome, you can also put together some fried boiled egg salad.
You can use almost any cut of chicken you want to. Chicken thighs are a great option, since they have the most tender, juicy meat, but you could also choose to use chicken breast if you want to.
You can try this recipe in the Air Fryer too. You’ll need to arrange the chicken and onions in a greased Air Fryer basket and cook them for about 25 minutes, making sure you flip the chicken midway through the cooking process.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- 2 chicken legs
- 1 tablespoon Sumac
- 1 teaspoon Harissa powder
- 1 red onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the onions.
- Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in a skillet or a heavy bottomed pan and add the chicken and sliced onions.
- Pan roast until the chicken is cooked and tender on both sides. Serve with a salad or rice.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove