Recipe | Sumac & Cedar Roasted Chicken

Talk about flavour! This seasonal roasted chicken is to DIE for.

Inspired by a recipe I found in The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker, a lovely cookbook my guy received for Christmas, this delicious and simple roast dinner is one to put in the books for a date night (did someone say Valentine’s Day? I know my guy was pretty happy when I made it for him) or Sunday dinner with family.

Sumac & Cedar Roasted Chicken


  • 1 whole organic, free-range, fryer chicken (~3 – 3.5 lb) – washed in & out – patted dry with paper towel
  • Sumac (or Lebanese spice equivalent), enough to liberally sprinkle over the outside of the chicken
  • Cedar boughs, enough for stuffing the bird & lining the roasting pan
  • 4 cloves garlic, cracked lightly with the heel of your hand
  • 1 lemon, halved for stuffing
  • Coarse salt & freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into slices
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, unpeeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 celery stalk, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 an onion, halved 


Preheat oven to 450F. 

Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper, liberally. 

Face the bird, breast-side-up, and gently slide a finger between the skin and flesh of the meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Insert a pat of butter. Do the same with the rest of the butter until it is all secured under the skin. 

Stuff the seasoned cavity with garlic, lemon, and cedar boughs. Then truss the legs together with butcher’s twine – or a cedar bough if you have a long enough piece! 

Line your roasting pan with carrot, celery and onion – making a bed for the chicken. Place the chicken in bed, and sprinkle with Sumac (or Lebanese spice equivalent). 

Place the bird in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 400F for another 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven, and take its’ temperature – it should read 165F. Let rest for 20 minutes before carving. 

While the bird is resting, try your hat at making a pan sauce….

Put the pan on a stove element and heat on medium high heat. Add in a little chicken stock (~1/2 cup) and Dijon mustard (~1 Tbsp). Using a whisk, scrape up any bits from the bottom and emulsify. Taste and season with S&P as necessary. Let bubble away, reducing by 1/2, and finish with a pat of cold butter before serving. 

{ I’m sorry, but can we look at our pretty new dishware (similar here) & Laguiole cutlery set! I LOVE Christmas gifts! }

Serve this mighty bird with some crispy roasted spuds, and sautéed zucchini for a perfect comfort meal when you need it. YUM-O!


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