Roast Chicken Quarters with Israeli Spices

Two simple olive oil marinades
Roasted Tomatoes with Za'atar and Fresh Herbs add an acidic contrast to the richer roast chicken and can be prepared in the oven at roughly the same time. Plan on 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. Turn the tomatoes over once during their cooking time. Seasonings might include whole, peeled garlic cloves, chopped onions and of course salt and black pepper. Two large pinches of sugar also draw out the sweetness of the tomatoes.

Roast Chicken Quarters, Roasted Tomatoes, Roasted Potatoes and Herb Salad

The following recipe, also adapted from Janna Gur's The Book of New Israeli Food, will serve 4-6 people.

Begin with 8 pieces skin-on, bone-in chicken quarters, 4 legs and 4 large thighs. Sprinkle lavishly with salt and black pepper on both sides. Toss half with one of the marinades below and half with the other. Seal in plastic bags and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Bake in a 400 degree F. oven until the skin is crispy brown, about 35 - 40 minutes. 

Serve warm or at room temperature festooned with sprigs of fresh herbs such as cilantro, dill and/or mint and lemon wedges.

In warmer months, grill chicken outside if desired or possible.


Combine in a small bowl: 1/2 cup olive oil and 3 T. sumac.


Combine very well in a small bowl: 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 T. ground allspice, 1/2 t. ground nutmeg, 1/2 t. cardamom seeds, 1/2 t. ground cinnamon, pinch of ground cloves, pinch of cayenne pepper and 1 T. honey or agave syrup.


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