Turkish-Style Oven-Roasted Chicken

This is one of my favorite recipes for an oven-roasted chicken. It’s so easy and quick to make, yet pretty much never fails to impress. I got this from Rick Stein and really could not come up with anything to make it any better (well, except that I skipped the garlic in the marinade which I don’t like). Although I usually try to only post recipes that somehow bear my own signature, I would find it a loss not to share this here.

A word on ingredients: Sumac certainly is the archetypical Turkish flavor, but it’s also widely spread in other Middle-Eastern cuisines. So are pomegranate molasses which are, amongst others, very much used in Persian cooking. And then there are sesame seeds – no need to say anything about their importance in Middle-Eastern dishes. So, for all I know, this dish might as well be put on an Arabien, Persian or Levantine menu.



  • Any parts of chicken that you fancy, like legs (2-3), wings (6-8) or drumsticks (4-6), but they should have skin; or 1 freerange chicken, cut into 6-8 pieces (I recommend doubling the portions below for an entire chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons of sumac
  • 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds


  1. Make a paste from the sumac, chili flakes, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses and salt.
  2. Rub the chicken with the paste and let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  4. Place the chicken in an oven dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
  5. Roast (uncovered) for approximately 45-50 minutes. Check occasionally and reduce the temperature if getting too dark.
  6. Serve, e.g., with grilled peppers, slow-cooked leek or a fresh green salad.

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