To the uninitiated, sumac is a lemony spice that is used in Middle Eastern cooking. It can be used in meat and fish dishes and is also a wonderful substitute for lemon dressing in salad.
I love it for its fresh, tangy but not over-powering taste, which is why I’ve decided to use it for this recipe.
- 5kg chicken (I prefer organic, because it really does taste better)
- 1 tablespoon of sumac
- ½ a lemon, sliced
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 20g of parsley (chopped finely)
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- ½ an onion
- 2 garlic gloves.
To prepare 1-2 days ahead
- Score the chicken. i.e., make narrow slits in the chicken using a sharp knife. This allows the marinade to penetrate
- Mix the salt, sumac, thyme, olive oil, parsley, onion and one garlic clove
- Marinate the chicken, making sure the cavity is filled with ½ the onion, about two tablespoons of parsley, one garlic clove and 1 tablespoon of sumac
- Cover with foil and put in the fridge.
- Take out the chicken at least an hour before you want it to go in the oven (I take it out at least three hours before, but that’s a matter of preference)
- Warm the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes before the chicken goes in
- Put the chicken in the oven for about 90 minutes (this is a guide – always follow cooking instructions on pack)
- You’ll know the chicken is done because the juice will run clear when pricked with a skewer
- Leave the chicken to stand for about 10 minutes
I had mine with Nigerian jollof rice (recipe coming soon), but it could go with a crispy cabbage salad.
Sumac, how do you use yours?