Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Blood Orange à la Ottolenghi/Tamimi

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and Blood Orange à la Ottolenghi/Tamini

The partnership between Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi is one that I find truly inspirational. They both seem to have an intuition for creating beautifully balanced food, that delivers in not only flavour and texture, but visually as well. The fact that their friendship is stronger than politics (one being of Palestinian background and the other Israeli) is also something to be celebrated and admired. How wonderful it would be if the world were full of people as respectful, caring and tolerant as they are… to live in a world where each person can accept and also be accepted for the unique person that he/she is… race, religion, skin colour and sexual orientation being not something we disagree and fight over, but something that is simply a part of us, no more, no less. Ahhh yes… my ever-optimistic heart hopes to one day see a world in peace.

The following dish is one that I’ve cooked several times before, though always using the original recipe which features thinly sliced lemon, rather than the bright and beautiful blood orange that I’ve used here. I must admit to preferring it this new way, as the blood orange gives a sweeter citrus balance that I find much more pleasurable to eat. With the lemon, I find myself scooping most of the slices to the side of my plate, to be left untouched while I devour the rest of my meal. I’ve also adjusted the quantity of onions to just the one… this was plenty 😉 in my opinion.

I sense that this recipe is more likely to be attributable to Sami, rather than Yotam, with it being based on the traditional Palestinian dish ‘M’sakhan’ (roasted chicken with sumac on flatbreads – something I’m now desperate to cook as well!) Either way, it’s such a delicious dish and one that I can only urge you to try sometime very soon.

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and Blood Orange à la Ottolenghi/Tamimi

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 Large Free-Range Chicken (jointed into quarters)*
  • 1 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic (crushed)
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1½ Teaspoons Ground Allspice (Pimento)
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Sumac
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Medium Blood Orange (thinly sliced)
  • 200ml Chicken Stock or water
  • 2 Tablespoons Za’atar
  • 1 Teaspoon Unsalted Butter
  • 50g Pine Nuts
  • 4 Tablespoons Chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley (chopped)


In a large bowl, place the chicken, onion, garlic, oil, spices, blood orange and stock/water. Mix well to ensure the chicken pieces are well coated. Leave to marinade in the fridge for at least a few hours, or if possible overnight.

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and Blood Orange à la Ottolenghi |

Pre-heat the oven 200°C. Transfer the chicken and all of it’s marinade to a large baking tray, with the chicken pieces skin-side up and with a little space between each one. Sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken and onions and then place into the hot oven. Roast for about 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is beautifully coloured and cooked through.

Towards the end of the above cooking time, place the butter into a small frying pan to melt over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and a pinch of salt and stir until golden. Transfer to a small plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess butter.

When the chicken is cooked, transfer to a serving plate, along with the onions and orange. Top with the chopped parsley, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serve with any or all of the following: warm pita bread / basmati rice / garlicky yoghurt sauce (made by mixing together some Greek yoghurt with a little crushed garlic, olive oil and S&P).

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and Blood Orange à la Ottolenghi/Taminin |


I jointed a chicken for the very first time to prepare this dish. In the past, I’ve used skin-less thigh fillets, but having tried it this way, it’s so obvious that the meat is much more delicious when roasted on the bone and with the skin attached (makes sense really!) I used some tips for how to joint a chicken from the following website: Delia Online. It’s a great technique to learn and really not that hard when it comes down to it.

(Adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi in their cookbook – ‘Ottolenghi, The Cookbook’)


29 thoughts on “Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Blood Orange à la Ottolenghi/Tamimi

  1. lapetitecasserole

    I hear a lot of amazing things about Yotam Ottolenghi… I thing the time has come to buy his book. The chicken you made looks amazing and very tasty, the meat has to taste heavenly!

    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Lovely to hear from you Margherita and thank you for your very kind comment! I don’t think you could go wrong purchasing ANY of Ottolenghi’s books – they’re all wonderful in their own special way! 🙂

  2. Fig & Quince

    Wow! I’m absolutely seduced by this dish, and the blood orange is just one bewitching aspect of it. It’s a lovely dish Margot!

    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Thank you dear Azita! I’m finding these days that certain spices and spice mixes really do create magical dishes that deliver in flavour! Hope you’re feeling better now and having a wonderful week! 🙂

  3. laurasmess

    I’ve been a fan of Ottolenghi for some time and Jerusalem is now one of my all-time favourite books. I can spend hours just reading it, looking at the pictures and reading the words from Yotam and Sami (I also find their working relationship and friendship very inspiring). This is one recipe that I haven’t tried as yet but you definitely make me want to! It’s beautiful… the flavours look just gorgeous and (with all faith in Ottolenghi’s methods!) I can imagine how well it will work. Gorgeous post. We are kindreds in our foodie ways, methinks! x

    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks Laura… so lovely to hear from you! There really is a beautiful style about all the dishes that they create – encompassing all that it should in terms of flavour, texture and colour… without being over-the-top whatsoever. It’s the sort of food I could eat all week and never tire of! Lovely to be thought of as your kindred foodie friend! 🙂 Hope you’re having fun on your UK adventures… feels like you’ve been travelling for such a long time! Lovely to get updates whenever you find the time though… you’ve done so well keeping ‘The Mess’ going with all the distractions and excitement of travel! 🙂

  4. Francesca

    My friends gave me this book for my birthday. Such a wonderful cookbook! The dish looks fantastic and I love those blood oranges! Such a great idea!

    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Francesca, great to hear that you too hold this cookbook in high esteem! There are so many fabulous recipes and flavour combinations (both sweet and savoury) that I’m so keen to try from it! Never enough hours in the day… and days in the week! Hope you have a lovely weekend 🙂

  5. lapetitepaniere

    Margot, I like the mix of cultures in the kitchen, it becomes always richer and very interesting. Your tasty roast chicken with the addition of zaâtar and sumac is the proof of this mix 🙂

  6. Johnny Hepburn

    Still haven’t bought sumac, even though it’s easy to find. And I haven’t cooked with spices proper in weeks! Oh, and I’m beginning to crave meat again. Roasted sausages. Well, if I buy chicken quarters I know what to do with them. 🙂

    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      Wow… how long has that been that you’ve gone meat-free Johnny? It started when you were feeling unwell quite a while ago, didn’t it? Hope that means that your body is feeling back to normal now! Perhaps you could sprinkle some sumac on your roasted sausages? Sumac makes everything taste better! 🙂

  7. apuginthekitchen

    Love that you showcased this great recipe and wonderful collaboration between Ottolenghi and Tamimi, a truly beautiful recipe. The flavors just sing and are perfectly balanced, I love it, great post, so well done,

  8. Ngan R.

    I am a huge fan of Ottolenghi and Tamimi and am excited to pick up Plenty More soon. I love that their friendship transcends politics and their food is proof positive that such collaborations can work. I have not made this chicken with blood oranges before, but will definitely add it to the list of dishes to try now!

  9. sam @ nourish

    I am a huge Yotam/Sami fan, so you can imagine how excited I was to dine at Yotam’s NOPI restaurant in London earlier this year…the whole experience was breathtaking!! The flavours, the colours, the vibe of the place, the gorgeous, friendly staff…everything really. I’m so glad that they’ve shared their knowledge so we can all enjoy their amazing recipes in our own homes 🙂

    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      That’s so exciting Sam, that you’ve eaten at one of their restaurants! and so lovely to read your thoughts on it (exactly as I would have hoped!) I’ve been loving the recent Mediterranean Island Feast series on SBS that’s been showing on a Thursday evening… such amazing people, food and countryside!

    1. Margot @ Gather and Graze Post author

      There are so many recipes I still need to try in that book, that until I’ve worked my way through at least a few more, I won’t allow myself to be seduced into purchasing ‘Plenty More’! Despite, desperately wanting to go and have a look at what’s inside! 🙂


Love to hear your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.