This is my go to chicken dinner; it’s simple and comforting and unfussy. 7 spice, sumac and regular olive oil form this basic marinade. The Sumac adds a bit of fragrant sourness to the savoury chicken; when buying sumac make sure it is reddish and not brown which indicates it’s old. Every year, I get so happy when my mother in law sends me a gorgeous bag of sumac that grows wild on her land. I give little presents of sumac to my friends when I go over because I know how hard it is to find the quality stuff out here in the Wild West. In most dishes, it should be sprinkled on like a seasoning as too much can be overbearing but in this dish it is the star of the show. You can also substitute the 7 spice mix with other regional herb blends such as Jerk (my other favourite), Garam Masala or Chinese 5 spice for variation.
I use thighs because they are the best bit but of course you can use the marinade on chicken breasts, which are best grilled or shallow fried. If you are barbecuing, then remember to make a few gashes with a knife and rub the marinade in well especially under the skin. Me and my husband always fight over the potatoes so add as many as your roasting pan will allow. If you are preparing extra veggies separately then remake the marinade quickly and pour it over. You can also substitute seasonal vegetables and other varieties, though for me no trendy sweet potato can ever replace the strong, reliable and sturdy plain potato #trueloveofmylife 😍
7 spice and Sumac Lebanese chicken with potatoes and carrots
- 3-4 large chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp 7 spice
- 1 tspn sumac
- 2 tbsp regular olive oil
- ½ tspn salt
- 3 medium potatoes, roughly chopped
- 1-2 carrots, sliced
- Wash and sprinkle the chicken with salt, add to a bowl.
- Add the 7 spice, sumac and olive oil and rub well into the chicken, making sure to spread the marinade under the skin.
- Leave to marinade in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably over night.
- When you are ready to roast, heat the oven to 200°C fan.
- Prep the veg, sprinkle with salt and add to the chicken bowl and mix around in the spices.
- Lay out the chicken and veg in a roasting pan, preferably non stick.
- Roast for 20 mins at 200°C, and 40 mins at 170°C. Turn the chicken half way.
- Serve with optional salad or rice.
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