Chef Ottolenghi’s Roast Chicken with Za’atar

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Because I am inspired by my recent trip to Israel, I wanted to share with you this amazing roast chicken recipe from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook

This is a great dinner party recipe because it’s a beautiful dish, you can do all the prep ahead, and the flavors are delicious!

I love how easily this recipe comes together. Just throw everything into a big bowl to marinate. You can do this step several hours or up to a day ahead. Then transfer everything into a skillet or baking pan and roast.


  • 8 chicken thighs or 4 breast with skin and bones, trimmed of excess fat and loose skin

  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons za’atar plus more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon all spice (I omitted this, because of personal preference)

  • 1 tablespoon sumac

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 6 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the onions, lemon, garlic, 4 tablespoons olive oil, spices, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a skillet or baking pan large enough to hold all the chicken pieces lying flat with a little space between pieces, skin side up.

Roast for 40 minutes, until the chicken cooked through. If you like the skin browned, turn the oven up to broil for the last few minutes of cooking, checking every minute or so until the skin is as crisp and brown as you like it. (Be very careful not to burn it)

While the chicken is in the oven, roast the pine nuts in a small frying pan, stirring constantly, until they turn golden.

To Serve: Transfer the hot chicken, onions and lemons to a serving platter. Pour pan juices over the chicken pieces. Sprinkle chicken with extra za-atar if you like and sprinkle with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts. Serve hot.