Summery roasted Chicken with Sumac, Lemons & Spiced yogurt

This is a recipe for the ones who love roast chicken but want to give it a summer twist.  The marinade also works well with BBQ chicken (You’ll need to marinate the chicken in lemon juice and garlic prior to BBQ). The recipe is from John Torode and was published in BBC GoodFood Magazine. I thought it looked great in the magazine and it tasted even more delicious than it looked!

Sumac is powdered spice from Middle East. Its sour lemony flavour works well with chicken and lamb as well as rice. You can find it from special spice shops or online, websites such as . I f you can’t find it, you can use grated lemon zest instead. But you won’t get the great colours on the chicken’s skin.

Sumac: Lemony, zingy and beautiful colour

Sumac: Lemony, zingy and beautiful colour


  • 1 large free-range chicken ( about 1.5Kg, 3lb 5oz in size)
  • 3 lemons, cut into eights
  • 3 small shallots, peeled and left whole ( I used half-chopped onion instead).
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed
  • 2 tbsp sumac ( I used 3 tbsp, to give the skin a deep colour)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil ( or butter ) to rub on the Chicken’s skin


  • 1 tsp each ground coriander and cumin
  • 1/2 tsp each ground turmeric and mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder, mild or hot depending on taste.
  • 500g pot natural yogurt
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
  • bunch spring onions, sliced


  1. Heat oven to 200C/ 180 fan/ gas 6. Two things happen to the chicken. First, season the inside. In a bowl mix the lemons, olives, shallots and garlic with half the sumac and some salt. Scrunch them all together and add 1 tbsp of water. Open the bird up and pour the mix into the cavity. 
  2. Then, the outside. Take the oil ( I like to rub butter all over the chicken instead of oil ) and the rest of the sumac and rub onto chicken, massaging it into every part possible. Roast for 1 and 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear ( I roast my chicken for 1 hour with the foil cover on to keep it moist and 1/2 hour without the cover) when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the leg.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, mix all the ingredients for the spices yogurt with some salt- if you like it a little milder, deseed the chillies before slicing it.
  4. Carve the chicken and serve with a dollop of the yogurt. Enjoy! It’s sensational on a sunny day.

Thanks for looking and come back soon!


This entry was published on June 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm. It’s filed under All the Recipes jumbled up!, POULTRY and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

19 thoughts on “Summery roasted Chicken with Sumac, Lemons & Spiced yogurt

  1. Love this!! I just love sumac, everything in this meal is perfect. I could eat this just about every day of the week.

  2. This looks fantastic. The colors on the chicken are really great!

    • Thanks dear. It was my first time using it on roasted chicken. Definitely helps the bird to look more appetising. I am very familiar with sumac but this recipe gave me a new excuse to use sumac.

  3. Mmmm, looks and sounds delicious

  4. I do love roast chicken! I would love it…RIGHT NOW. Here in Seattle it is nothing to spark up the oven in the summer. And quite easier than bbq’ing. Well, I do love to bbq, but, there are those evenings where it is so nice to just put something in the oven. We need those comfort smells in our kitchen in the summer too, right! Great recipe!

    • Haha! I’m glad you like this idea tiny-white-cottage. I know! bbq is a lovely thing but requires so much prep, roasting a chicken is much easier and it feeds quite a few people. And the smell is sensational too ( specially with lemon and sumac πŸ˜‰ ).

  5. I love it, I love it, I love it! πŸ˜›

  6. This sounds delicious! I’ve used sumac with chicken before and I think it would be wonderful when used with yogurt. Thanks for sharing a great recipe, one I’ll be sure to try. I’m pinning it so I don’t forget where I saw it. πŸ™‚

  7. Lovely looking chicken indeed. I have never had that spice. I must arrange some.

    • Cheers! …and I don’t blame you, finding spices in Ireland is quite a challenge! Having said that I am sure there are many Irish recipes for roast chicken that are perfect without anything fancy.

  8. Amazing looking chicken!

  9. That looks so great!

  10. Summery chicken indeed! Can’t get more refreshing than lemony sumac and yogurt πŸ™‚ This sounds amazing.

  11. Oh, that chicken looks absolutely divine!

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