Sumac & Seven-Spice Roast Chicken

I am in love with my new cookbook (Saffron in the Souks) and have been picking out recipes like crazy. My latest selection was the sumac and seven-spice roast chicken. It was very good and I’m positive if I had marinated it as long as they suggested, it would have been even better. Roast chicken is usually a pretty bland affair, but this was downright delicious.

Sumac & Seven-Spice Roast Chicken

It was only minutes to whip up the marinade and I used it on a spatchcocked chicken, rubbing it over every inch and under the skin on the breast and legs. At first, I thought I had overdone it and burnt it, but when looking at the image in the cookbook, it actually looked the same. Rather like a blackened (non-spicy) chicken.

I have to admit that I deviated from the cooking temperature of 425F for 40 minutes. I am able to fit a chicken in my Ninja so bake at 350F until done, since the heat is so concentrated. The recipe also called for squeezing a lemon over the finished chicken, but the Hubby wasn’t a huge fan of it, so will omit it in the future.

Sumac & Seven-Spice Roast Chicken

Sumac & Seven-Spice Roast Chicken


  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Lebanese 7spice or baharat
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 2 cardamon pods crushed, pounded fine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • 2 teaspoons za'atar
  • 1 chicken


  • Cut the backbone out of the chicken and flatten. Pat dry.
  • Combine all ingredients except the salt. Smear all over the chicken, including under the skin of the breasts and the legs.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Bake at 350F for 45 minutes to an hour, until the meat is 165F.
  • Sprinkle with salt and the za'atar.
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