I was able to find this roast for $.99/lb quite a while ago, and it’s just been hanging out in the freezer waiting for the perfect recipe. This is definitely it. I would’ve never thought of using lemon zest in a rub, but as it turns out, it goes really well, especially with all the spices mentioned here. Definitely going on the keeper list.
- zest of 2 large lemons
- 2 T ground sumac
- 4 t sea salt
- 1 T fresh ground pepper
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1 t allspice
- 4 T olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, grated or minced (I went minced)
- whole chicken (original recipe recommended 2 4ish lb chickens, I went with one big almost 10 lb one)
- 1 bunch thyme (or ground, if you’re me and don’t want to get the fresh herbs)
- 1 T lemon juice (fresh squeezed ideal)
- 2.5 lbs plums, halved, quartered if on the larger side
- (original recipe mentions shallots, I omitted them, didn’t want to make the grocery run)
- 2 T honey
- 1 T olive oil
- .5 t cinnamon
- pinch allspice
- 1 bay leaf torn in half
- 2 T water
Take your lemon zest, and mix in the sumac, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, the minced garlic, and 3 T of the olive oil. The resulting mixture should feel like wet sand. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, including the insides. Take your thyme bunch and rest it inside the cavity (or if you’re me, just sprinkle a bunch of thyme in the cavity). Let the rubbed chicken marinate in the fridge for a minimum of one hour, or up to 24 hours.
Either way, once you’re ready to roast the chicken, take it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature, letting it sit for about 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450.
While the chicken sits and the oven preheats, take the plums, honey, water, olive oil, cinnamon, allspice, and bay leaf, and toss together in a roasting pan. Spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of the roasting pan. Once the oven is preheated, transfer the chicken to the roasting pan, resting it on top of the plums, and roast for 30 minutes to start.
After 30 minutes, take 1 T of lemon juice and the remaining 1 T olive oil from earlier, mix it together, and drizzle over the chicken. Put the chicken back in the oven, and continue to roast for another 45 minutes, until cooked all the way through.
Let your chicken rest under a foil blanket for 10 minutes once it’s been removed from the oven, and then enjoy!