Citrus & Sumac Whole Roast Chicken


Serves 4 to 6

This recipe brings together common Mediterranean flavors that we have long enjoyed, except one: sumac. This bright, earthy, almost lemony spice is absolutely perfect for roasted chicken.

Ingredients (for the Brine)

  • 1 whole Smart Chicken

  • ½ gallon water

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ¼ cup ground sumac

  • 12 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 1 large onion, diced large

  • 3 tablespoons peppercorns, crushed

  • 2 large oranges, zested and squeezed

  • ¾ gallon ice


In a pan, combine the water, salt, sugar, sumac, garlic, onion, peppercorns, orange zest, and juice. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Add the ice to cool and dilute the mixture and stir.

Transfer the chicken to a large, sealable plastic bag or container and pour in the brine. Leave the chicken in the brine for 24 hours. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels.

Ingredients (for the Roasted Chicken)

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons ground sumac

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

  • 8 ounces high-quality olive oil (not extra-virgin)

Preheat oven to 325° F. Mix all the spices together and sprinkle liberally all over the inside and outside of the chicken. Roast the chicken until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165° F, continually basting while cooking. If you like a crispier skin, increase the oven to 475° F at the end of cooking and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Let the chicken rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe created by Russ Langstadt, Chef, Cana's Feast Winery, Carlton, Oregon