Lemon, sumac & zaatar roast chicken with tabbouleh

Instead of going out for a meal on Valentine’s Day (which neither of us is really too fond of), H. and I decided to stay in, cook a nice meal, and watch the last episode of Downton Abbey (which we both became addicted to and have now run out of episodes to watch).

We had this chicken at a dinner party in Toronto and it was so good that I copied down the recipe. It’s a piece of genius from Ottolenghi. The chicken is a two step process: marinating and then roasting. The quartered chicken is marinated in a combination of 4 tsbp olive oil, 2 thinly sliced red onions, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1.5 tsp allspice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp sumac, 1 chopped lemon, 200mL stock, and salt & pepper. The marinating time says at least two hours, but obviously the more the better. Once ready to cook, you simply sprinkle 2 tbsp zaatar over the chicken, and roast for 30-40 minutes at 200C. As it’s roasting, the pine nuts can be prepared: fry 50g of pine nuts (I used 25g and it worked fine) with a bit of butter and salt — they are a delicious touch to the dish. Just before serving, sprinkle on the pine nuts, some parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. YUM.

To go along with it, I made Ottolenghi’s tabbouleh (more of his recipes available on the Guardian website), which was a tasty pairing. Finish it off with a bottle of Yellow Tail shiraz (the wine we used to drink “together” on Skype during the time we lived apart), and you have a lovely meal!

Side note: I bought the allspice, sumac and zaatar in Toronto. I know allspice isn’t available here in Germany, but the other two probably are — I haven’t checked.


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