Recipes Mains:

Whole Roasted Chicken with Sumac

by Athena Calderone, From Cook Beautiful
Whole Roasted Chicken with Sumac, Roasted Vegetables, and Labne


Serves 2 to 3

  • 1 (4 pound) chicken
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 3 teaspoons sumac, divided, plus more for serving
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 3 heads garlic, halved
  • 4 carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (about 1½ pounds)
  • 2 small yellow onions, quartered
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 cup labne or full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for serving
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving

The Prep

Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Using your fingers, gently separate the skin from the flesh across the breasts and drumsticks. Rub the butter between the skin and the flesh. Rub the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sumac all over the chicken. If time permits, refrigerate the chicken, uncovered, for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Squeeze half of one lemon over the chicken and place it inside the cavity along with a half head of garlic. Scatter the carrots, potatoes, onions, and remaining lemons and garlic around the chicken. Drizzle the vegetables and chicken with the ½ cup oil. Sprinkle the vegetables with the remaining 1 teaspoon sumac and season with salt and pepper, tossing until the vegetables are evenly coated. Roast, tossing the vegetables occasionally, until the chicken and vegetables are deep golden and cooked through and the chicken registers 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Drizzle the labne with oil and sprinkle it with the sesame seeds, some pepper, sumac, and flaky sea salt. Serve it alongside the chicken.

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