Za’atar Roasted Chicken Over Sumac Potatoes is an easy one-pot meal that tastes like you teleported to Israel!
So I was so excited to get my hands on Adeena Sussman’s new cookbook Sababa. (If you went on Birthright you may know that means “everything is awesome.”) You may remember I had the pleasure of noshing with Adeena as well as eating a Yemenite Shabbat dinner cooked by Adeena and beloved Israel chef Gil Hovav when I spoke at Nosh Berlin. I can still taste the Kubaneh Bread from that meal. So good!
Adeena is the co-author of eleven (!) cookbooks including Crissy Teigan’s uber-popular Cravings, but this book is all about the food of her adopted home of Israel. There are lots of Israeli books out there but Sababa takes it up a notch with not only delicious versions of the classics (homemade amba, schug, hummus and quick hummus, falafel, pita, shawarma, etc.) but modern twists as well. Not just tahini, but how to make black, green and pink (!) tahini. Israeli Street Corn (similar to my beloved elotes but Israeli style), Challah Caprese with Za’atar Vinaigrette, Roasted Tomato and Labaneh Pappardelle, Hawaiij-Braised Shortribs with Roasted Kohlrabi Mash, even cocktails like Spiced Silan Bourbon Cocktail, and dessert such as Tahini Caramel Tart. All on my to-cook list.
But I immediately turned to the Za’atar Roasted Chicken Over Sumac Potatoes. I had everything but the chicken and potatoes already and loved how simple it was to make since I am swamped with wedding planning (I’m still recovered from my Bachelorette Party) and Rosh Hashanah sales for ModernTribe. Plus, I love some chicken leftovers to make chicken salad for lunch (though there were few leftovers).
This is a great Shabbat chicken idea- it comes together in no time so you can spend your day making challah instead (or catching up on Dancing with the Stars, either way).
Sumac potatoes are also delicious in their own right. Two recipes in one!
I haven’t bought a new large roasting pan since moving to PR (I know I need to get on that!) So I used a Dutch oven and it turned out great! I roasted the potatoes a little extra after the chicken was done to crisp them up even more.
That crispy skin is IT!
- 4 to 5 medium red potatoes (1½ pounds), scrubbed
- 4 medium shallots, quartered
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sumac
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 small roasting chicken (about 3½ to 4 pounds), patted dry
- 1 small lemon
- 5 tablespoons Za’atar Spice Blend
- ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (I used more!)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 thyme sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Cut each potato into 6 wedges.
- In a 9 x 13-inch metal or glass baking dish, toss the potatoes and shallots with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the sumac, salt, and black pepper.
- Season the cavity and exterior of the chicken well with salt and pepper. Zest the lemon into a small bowl, halve the lemon and set aside.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to the bowl along with 4 tablespoons of the za’atar and the red pepper flakes and gently stir.
- Stuff the lemon halves, garlic, and thyme sprigs inside the chicken, then rub the chicken all over with the za’atar mixture. (If you want to, you can tie the legs of the chicken together; it’s easier than doing a full chicken trussing, which is impressive but not necessary for a dish like this.) Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of za’atar.
- Place the chicken, breast-side up, on top of the potatoes. Roast the chickenfor 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and continue to roast the chicken until a chicken leg jiggles when pulled, the juices run clear, and the potatoes underneath the chicken are soft and the ones on the edges are crisp and golden, about another hour and 20 minutes (the rule is 23 to 25 minutes per pound of chicken, but the high roasting temperature at the beginning of the recipe shaves off a little time).
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the lemon, garlic, and thyme springs from the cavity, discarding the garlic and thyme. Carve the chicken right on top of the potatoes, letting the juice coat the potatoes, then squeeze one or both halves of the reserved lemon on the chicken and potatoes.