Sumac baked chicken with pine nuts
This recipe was inspired by one of the marvelous 'Moro' cookbooks from Sam and Sam Clarke. Sumac, a sharp, lemony powder, ground from red berries give this dish its distinctive fresh taste. Serve with simple tomato salad, a creamy-garlic hummus, homemade pitta breads and you will be in Casablanca - possibly.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil.
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- 1 medium whole chicken, jointed, as shown here, skin on.
- 12 spring onions, roughly chopped.
- 2 tablespoons sumac powder.
- A pinch of oregano.
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar.
- Small pinch of cumin seeds, bruised in a mortar and pestle.
- 50 g pine nuts.
- 3 tablespoons water.
- Preheat the oven to 220° C (425° F - gas 7)
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil a small oven proof casserole dish or Dutch oven.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown them, skin-side first, a few at a time and reserve. Discard the oil.
- Lay the onions in the base of the pan and sprinkle with half of the sumac, the remaining tablespoons of oil, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the sherry vinegar and the cumin seeds and a pinch of oregano.
- Place the chicken pieces on top, skin-side up. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and the remaining sumac.
- Heat the pan for a 3 or 4 minutes on the hob just to get it sizzling then place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
- Place the chicken pieces on a preheated serving dish, deglaze the pan with the remaining tablespoons of sherry vinegar, add the water and mix well to produce a sauce.
- Pour over the chicken and serve immediately.
I added a whole onion, roughly chopped, with the spring onions.
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