Oven-roasted Chicken with Sumac, Pomegranate Molasses, Chilli and Sesame Seeds

This mouth-watering recipe for oven-roasted chicken is taken from Rick Stein's From Venice to Istanbul book. The Turkish-inspired recipe can be cooked on the barbecue or in the oven.


This is an ideal chicken dish for an outdoor summer party. However, I favour cooking it in the oven because the marinade is apt to burn on a barbecue. I did it a couple of months ago at my holiday house by the water in Mollymook, NSW. I kept the heat low to avoid too much blackening but I needed to be at the barbie then, rather than chatting. Sumac is Turkey’s favourite spice. It’s a red berry with an astringent, lemony flavour, the fruit of a small bush. It’s the sort of dish that’s idea as part of a warm and cold buffet where people have a bit of everything including a rice pilaf.

Serves 4-6


1 whole chicken (about 2kg), jointed into 8 pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
For the marinade:
2 tbsp ground sumac
12g/2 large cloves garlic, crushed or grated
1/2 - 1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp salt


Mix all the marinade ingredients together, rub well into the chicken and leave for 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 200°C/ 6gas .Put the chicken in a roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil and scatter the sesame seeds over. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

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