Sumac-Roasted Chicken du Monde

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 6 Hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Inspired by Mom Mogannam, this tangy, citrusy, Middle Eastern roasted chicken dish is simple and delicious.

“My translation of one of Mom’s great recipes, this dish quickly became a favorite among the regulars at my restaurant Rendezvous du Monde. Sumac is a spice used in marinades and salads throughout the Middle East. It has a tangy, citrusy flavor and adds a beautiful pinkish hue to the chicken. It’s worth seeking out sumac, but if you can’t find it, the recipe will still be delicious. Serve with buttered couscous or grilled country bread drizzled with the pan juices.” [Editor’s note: recipe from Sam Mogannam’s Eat Good Food cookbook.]


For the Brine

7 cups water

1 cup dry white wine

6 tablespoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons yellow curry powder

For the Chicken

3-pound chicken, cut into two halves

2 medium red onions (about 1 pound)

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons ground sumac


For the Brine

Combine all the brine ingredients in a large pot and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Put the chicken in the pot and top with a plate, if necessary, to keep the chicken submerged. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

For the Chicken

Heat the oven to 450 degrees and remove the chicken from the refrigerator.

Peel and trim the onions, keeping as much of the root end intact as possible. Cut into 1-inch wedges, cutting through the root end so the layers stay connected. Put the onions and thyme in a large roasting pan, drizzle with the balsamic, and stir to combine.

Remove the chicken from the brine, dry off with paper towels, and rub with the olive oil. Sprinkle the sumac all over the chicken. Put the chicken halves skin side up in the pan, arranging the onions around them.

Roast, stirring the onions occasionally, until the skin is golden and an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees at the deepest part of the chicken’s thighs, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a cutting board. Stir the onions so that they pick up some of the juices and browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Taste and add a sprinkle of salt if needed.

To serve, spread the onions across the bottom of a serving platter and top with the chicken.

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