Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar, and Lemon
This is a great dish for company because it is simple, but tastes a bit exotic and different. You can buy sumac and za'atar at most Whole Foods or specialty spice shops. The original recipe specified a whole chicken cut in four pieces, but if you use all chicken thighs, you don't have to worry too much about overcooking. Serve it with Roasted Cauliflower and Pomegranate Seed Salad. (Adapted from "Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.")
3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, preferably organic or free-range
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1½ teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sumac
1 lemon, thinly sliced
scant 1 cup chicken stock or water
1½ teaspoons salt, plus extra
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons za'atar
4 teaspoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons pine nuts
4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, olive oil, spices, lemon, stock, salt, and pepper. Leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking sheet large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces lying flat and spaced well apart. They should be skin side up. Sprinkle the za'atar over the chicken and onions and put the pan in the oven. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is colored and just cooked through.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small frying pan, add the pine nuts and a pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they turn golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the fat.
Transfer the hot chicken and onions to a serving plate and finish with the chopped parsley, pine nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil. You can sprinkle on more za'atar and sumac, if you like.