Chicken with Sumac & Coriander


Cous Cous
More North African funkiness ©rory kelly

So this dish is all about Sumac – an incredible spice typically native to the Middle East and certain parts of Italy (and North America) – it’s tart, punchy and has a knock out deep dark purple colour to it. It’s a little other-worldly and feels oddly ‘in-organic’ but its serious stuff when it comes to big robust meats like chicken (brown meat) and lamb.

Back in ‘The Kitchen’ we used Sumac in one of our house favourites – Spiced Lamb-Skewers, Kebabs really…but better than any lamb kebab this side of Istanbul!. The key ingredient and the real cat-nip for our Kebab officianadoes was the Sumac spice. We tested it once (because we were weird that way and drunk a lot) by leaving the Sumac out of a batch and the restaurants windows were almost out through due to the public out-cry…………

But what I have done with this recipe is basically super-charge things with the addition of some complimentary spices – sweet paprika to temper, Cayenne Pepper to add sting, Cumin to add middle tones and Coriander flower to add a light feminine dimension…I haven’t decided on a name for this masala yet but I’m thinking Sucupepander……possibly……………


2 full chicken legs jointed to 4

200 grams cous cous

100 grams of green olives – pitted

handful of sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 aubergine cubed

Coriander leaves and flowers

for the Sumac marinade

3 tbs Sumac

1 tbs sweet Paprika

1 tbs Cummin powder

2 tps Cayenne pepper

1 tbs salt flakes

2 tps cracked black pepper

4 tbs rapeseed oil


Step1: Kick off by making the Sumac marinade, just combine all the ingredients then set to one side.

Step2: Next skin the chicken and make deep slashes in the flesh, drop into a wide bowl then pour over the marinade, massage the marinade into the flesh, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

Step3: When you’re ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 160c the sling the chicken into a wide roasting tray and into the oven when it has reached room temp.

Step4: As the chook cooks fry the Aubergine in a little oil, some Cummin. When soft and brown turn the heat way down then add the olives, tomatoes and coriander leaves and keep warm.

Step 5: Cook the cous cous in about 175mls of hot chicken stock, fluff with a fork then add to the pan with the aubergine and tomatoes.

Step6: The chicken will take about 25-30 minutes to cook through but check it by cutting into it right to the bone – any pink, then back into the oven.

Step 7: When the chicken is cooked serve it on the bed of cous cous and serve with the coriander flowers a raw salad and a creamy chickpea salad






6 thoughts on “Chicken with Sumac & Coriander

  1. Another explosion of culinary colour. I love it. Though, I have to say, the flowers are so not “you”. (There may be a bit of photo staging jealousy creeping in to my comment).

    1. Ha, ha! I’ve got a coriander ‘hedge’ at this stage C and these little flowers and (happily) the seeds are in abundance…..they are going on everything at the minute! But agreed….maybe not me! I’ll take your brackets comment as a compliment from one I would consider to be expert in the area of photo staging!!

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