Oven-roasted chicken with sumac, pomegranate molasses, chilli and sesame seeds

Preparation time
1-2 hours

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Serves 4-6

This is an ideal chicken dish for an outdoor summer party. I favour cooking it in the oven because the marinade is apt to burn on a barbecue. Sumac is Turkey’s favourite spice. It’s a red berry with an astringent, lemony flavour, the fruit of a small bush. This dish is ideal as part of a warm and cold buffet where people have a bit of everything including a rice pilaf.

By Rick Stein

From Rick Stein: From Venice to Istanbul


  • 1 whole chicken, about 2kg/4lb 8oz, jointed into 8 pieces
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

For the marinade

  • 2 tbsp ground sumac
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed or grated
  • ½ -1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together, rub well into the chicken and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

  3. Put the chicken in a roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil and scatter the sesame seeds over. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through. (To check the chicken is cooked, pierce at the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear.)