Salt & Wind Travel

Sumac and Thyme Roast Chicken Recipe

A Sunday dinner of roast chicken is one of my favorite weekend rituals but, just because we do it on the regular, doesn’t mean it’s boring. One week it’s Chile-Lime Chicken, others this Smoked Paprika-Oregano situation, and this last weekend it was a twist on Middle Eastern za’atar with this Sumac and Thyme Roast Chicken.

I used the sumac left over from my travels to Lebanon and thyme because well, every good gardener grows it and I could pluck it from my window herb garden.

The chicken dry brined for a few hours before roasting in a well-worn Le Creuset cast iron skillet (via a technique Melissa Clark detailed recently in The Times). The chicken got crisp skin and a pink hue from the sumac then I served it over garlic toasts, soaked with a ladle of pan juices, and some good crusty bread because that is Sunday roast perfection.

Now, go stock up on all your cooking essentials, then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

Sumac and Thyme Roast Chicken Recipe

Sumac and Thyme Roast Chicken Recipe

A delicious recipe for a classic roast chicken that's slathered in sumac, thyme, and olive oil.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 78 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus more for serving
  • 4 garlic cloves grated
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) chicken
  • 1 lemon quartered


  • Season The Chicken: Combine the oil, sumac, salt, thyme leaves, and garlic in a bowl and mix until well combined. Rub the chicken inside and out (and under the skin) with the mixture. Put a few turns of freshly ground black pepper all over the chicken. Squeeze the lemon quarters all over the chicken then place them in the cavity. Otherwise, let it rest uncovered at room temperature.
  • Roast The Beets: Heat oven to 475°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Meanwhile, lay a piece of foil on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle beets with some of the oil, season with a pinch of salt, and roast until a pairing knife comes out easily, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, place a large cast-iron or other heavy, ovenproof skillet in the oven and heat at least 15 minutes.
  • Roast The Chicken: Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken skin connecting the legs to the body. Splay the thighs open until you feel the joint pop on each side. Carefully transfer chicken, breast-side up, to the hot skillet. Press down on the legs so they rest flat on the bottom of the pan and drizzle all over with a spoonful of oil.
    Roast for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180° then continue to roast the chicken until the thigh meat is no longer pink, 15 to 20 minutes more (for a total cooking time of 45 to 50 minutes).
    Remove chicken from oven, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let chicken rest for 5 minutes before carving.



Serving: 1 servingCalories: 78kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0.2mgSodium: 1745mgPotassium: 60mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 89IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword easy chicken recipe, roasted chicken recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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