Things you just know about yourself… Sumac & citrus roast chicken

A recipe for Sumac and Citrus Roast Chicken on

There are just some things you know about yourself by the time you get to be… ahem… 43.   Secret- annoying-I’ve tried-so-hard-to-change-I-just-give-up-kinda things.  Things you wouldn’t want to necessarily admit to anyone besides your therapist and Jesus. Things that flat-out annoy you about others until that sobering humble moment you realize that their things  only bug you because the two of you have things in common. You learn to accept these things about yourself, you make peace with them, learn to judge others less for their things, and look for the bright side.  For instance…

A recipe for Sumac and Citrus Roast Chicken on I know I’m a little controlling … okay … a lot. I like things a certain way, the temperature, radio volume, laundry fabric softener… You name it, I have a preference.  This can really make me a difficult wife at times (but if called out in an argument with my husband, I would completely deny this).   BUT … this makes me excellent at my job.  Being incredibly organized and paying attention to every detail truly matters in the kitchen, where controlling the outcome equals success.

I also know that I’m an “over thinker”.  Yup, it’s a real thing – I Googled it. My brain never shuts down and I think deeply about the true meaning of life and every situation in between as if each detail of my day is a clue to some bigger plot.  I am usually searching  for the answer to the question “why” and for some reason believe 

I can stay one step ahead of God.   I have even gone as far as to Google “why do people over think everything?”  See I told you, these are my  real life neurotic things!  BUT… on the bright side, this makes me very intuitive to people’s feelings and a good listener (don’t ask my husband he will just tell you I like to psychoanalyze his every move) . If you have a problem that needs a fixing, just ask inspector psychiatrist Louise, I’m sure I’ve read up on whatever is troubling you.

I know that I will never be a vegetarian.  I’ve stared at raw meat, tried to get it, tried to be grossed out at the thought of animal flesh, but nothing.  Not that I’ve ever tried to actually stop eating meat, it’s just one of those things I know.  I know because it’s really not normal how lost I can get in my head romancing thoughts of an aged rib eye steak or a fat grilled pork chop. I admit I have been known to gaze at petting zoo animals or even ducks at the park a little too long…  And If you cut the fat off your steak, please don’t be surprised if I reach over with my fingers and pop it in my mouth.  I’ll often stand in the kitchen preparing dinner … and when nobody is looking, use my fingers to tear into that golden brown, glistening, crispy roasted chicken skin still warm from the oven, it’s irresistible.    If my husband walks in the kitchen and tries to sneak a bite, I will most likely slap his hand and make him wait for dinner (controlling remember?).  Oh and that juice that’s  dripping down my chin? Just look away, it’s just one of my things

It goes without saying, I make a lot of roast chicken and lately I’ve been eating a lot of Sumac & citrus roast chicken.  I didn’t think roast chicken could get any better until I was introduced to Rosie organic chicken from Petaluma California. The taste is like no other chicken I’ve ever eaten before.  I’m crazy over it and can’t stop spreading the word.  I’m roasting chicken twice a week now, it’s getting out of hand, but nobody is complaining . One taste of this chicken and we could turn all the vegetarians, I know it! In this recipe I took out the back bone for a quicker roasting time and slathered it in a spice combination of sumac, allspice, garlic and cumin and then roasted it alongside whole lemons and Ojai Pixie tangerines.  Sumac has a natural acidic citrus flavor and allspice is a fragrant combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Those flavors paired with the concentrated sweet and sour roasted citrus juice squeezed over the top,  I know you will not be able to resist eating this chicken with your fingers straight out of the oven!   Let me know if you fall in love with Rosie and sumac too, it can be our thing.


Sumac citrus roast chicken
5.0 from 4 reviews

Recipe Type: Main course
Author: Chef Louise
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 5 – 6 pound roasting chicken
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon washed and cut in half
  • 2 Ojai pixie tangerines or oranges washed and cut in half
  1. Remove chicken from the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before roasting. A room temperature chicken will cook faster and more evenly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the upper third. Place a roasting rack over a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Remove the innards and then with sharp scissors cut out the back bone, allowing you to flatten the chicken in half. You can also ask your butcher to do this step for you.
  4. In a small bowl combine the rest of the ingredients to form a thick paste. Rub the chicken evenly and completely with seasoning mixture. Place the chicken on to the rack skin side up with the cut lemon and tangerines scattered on the bottom of the baking pan, flesh side up.
  5. Place into the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then remove and cover the breast with a small rectangle of foil that has been folded down the middle to form a tent (this will help the breast meat from overcooking). Reduce the heat in the oven o 425 and continue to roast for an additional 25 – 30 minutes or until the internal temperature between the thigh and drumstick reaches 150 – 155 degrees.
  6. Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes (the chicken will continue to cook while it’s resting), then serve with the roasted citrus squeezed over the top.


16 comments… add one
  • Gavin April 27, 2013, 10:38 pm

    “internal temperature between the thigh and drumstick reaches 150 degrees.”

    150 sounds a little low for chicken?

  • Jackie April 29, 2013, 12:15 am

    WOW, your photos are stunning!!!! If my dream of a cookbook ever comes true, I know who to call! It was so nice meeting you this weekend. I look forward to trying all of your recipes!

    • Chef Louise Mellor April 29, 2013, 2:58 pm

      Jackie, thank you! I love taking pretty pictures… I might like it better than making the food sometimes. Hope to see you again soon.

  • foodie@foodieportal. April 29, 2013, 2:00 am

    I love your pictures and recipes. I’d like to inform you of a great new website I would like to invite you to come and join us and share your wonderful pictures with us. We are simply foodies and we are not photography snobs, so picture perfection is not important, all we care about is delicious food.

  • sippitysup April 30, 2013, 11:50 pm

    It was nice of me to write this for you, huh. We are so a like. XOGREG

  • Sharmila May 1, 2013, 5:05 am

    Oh my Louise! That chicken looks so delicious. Your attention to detail makes these visuals and recipes so amazing. I cannot wait to try this dish.
    I’m so very glad I got to meet you this weekend. You are such a lovely person and so talented. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Little India. I had a great time there.

  • Sylvia February 4, 2014, 4:17 pm

    Had this for dinner today. I used chicken legs but otherwise followed the recipe. The chicken was juicy and delicious using the specified time and temperatures. A beautiful presentation with the citrus. I will be making this for company. Thank you.

  • Leah November 10, 2014, 12:47 pm

    This sounds amazing. My mom sent it to me and I’m so glad she did. Now I”m going to peruse the rest of the blog.

  • Monica January 18, 2015, 8:27 am

    I made this without the rack (flat on the pan) with roasted veggies surrounding it. Fabulous. Will make it over and over again and enjoy the compliments !! A very tasty spice mix.

  • MackenzieWhe April 12, 2016, 4:45 am

    I see, that needs unique & fresh
    content. I know it’s hard to write articles manually everyday, but there is solution for
    this. Just search in g00gle for: Atonemen’s tips

  • Gemma June 22, 2016, 7:32 pm

    Nix the paprika and cumin, reduce the heat to 375°F and don’t bother with the foil. Bake it for 60 minutes.

  • Bernie.krause May 7, 2017, 4:40 pm

    This turned out spectacularly on my Webber Grimm. Definite keeper!!

  • Bernie.krause May 7, 2017, 4:42 pm

    This turned out spectacularly on my Webber grill. Definite keeper.

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe: