Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Vegetables
Middle Eastern Roast Chicken – a flavorful middle eastern spice rubbed roast chicken served alongside roasted vegetables.
I’m back! I’m back! This post is more delayed than I initially intended. Yikes. We just adopted a new furry friend, who has unequivocally (and self-admittedly) captured all of my attention and love these past few days. I’ll do a formal introduction soon, promise.
First. Spatchcocked chicken! I told you guys all about how to spatchcock a chicken on Friday. It didn’t take long, because it really is that easy. It has easily become my new (most favorite) way to roast a whole chicken.
It is just one of those techniques that you try and wonder why you haven’t been doing forever, you know? Saves time and produces even better results. What’s not to like, right?
Truthfully, you could spatchcock a chicken, rub some olive oil on it, season it liberally with kosher salt and pepper, stick it in the oven, and stop right there. I’m a big fan of seriously simple roast chickens. But I’m an even bigger fan of this Middle Eastern spatchcocked roast chicken complete with roast potatoes, caramelized leeks, and carrots.
It’s one of those dinners that just takes care of itself. Everything comes together in one roasting pan with minimal clean up and effort.
Add a side salad (or loaf of crusty, good-quality bread) and you’re good to go.
The trick to this recipe is the spice rub. This Middle Eastern spice rub is everything. It’s delicate, warm, and incredibly tasty – and was inspired and adapted from this cookbook.
It does require quite a few spices (nine in total!), but these are everyday spices that I (and most likely you) keep on hand already. Ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, paprika, allspice, cloves, and turmeric.
Nothing too complicated or difficult to find.
I’ve literally been putting a version of this spice mixture on almost everything that comes out of my kitchen lately. The recipe below makes just enough for this roast chicken recipe, but I highly recommend making a double, triple, or quadruple batch of it.
I keep a little bag of it in my spice drawer for roast vegetables, chicken, and all sorts of things. I also made a version of these chicken pitas with simple, grilled chicken breasts (sprinkled with this rub) – and it was perfection. It’s incredibly versatile, and is such an easy way to add depth of flavor to all sorts of dishes.
Tender leeks, carrots, and red potatoes are tossed in the bottom of the roasting pan to make the meal even more complete. I don’t even peel the carrots. Just a little bit of a scrub under the sink, and they’re good to go. The vegetables and potatoes become perfectly tender in the amount of time it takes to roast the chicken (this recipe calls for a 4.5 to 5 lb bird – if you use a smaller chicken, simply cut the potatoes or carrots into smaller or pieces).
Lastly, I remove the roasting rack with the chicken, and allow the vegetables to finish roasting and caramelizing as the chicken rests. The leeks become silky and soft, the potatoes are creamy and tender, and the carrots are sweet and concentrated. Doesn’t get better than that, right? Dinner is served.
[P.S. If you’re looking for ways to use up leftover ground cardamom, you should definitely make this bundt cake, this other cake, these beignets, this ice cream, or these baked doughnuts. I love cardamom.]
Middle Eastern Roast Chicken
Middle Eastern Spice Rub:
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Roast Chicken and Vegetables:
- 3 medium red potatoes, quartered (roughly 1 lb)
- 4-5 medium carrots (roughly 1/2 lb), scrubbed well, sliced lengthwise, and cut into 3-4 inch pieces
- 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only (stalks discarded), sliced lengthwise in half
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (4.5 - 5 lb) organic whole chicken (without giblets) (*see note)
- 1 batch of Middle Eastern spice blend
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the center position.
- Remove the chicken from its packaging (remove the giblets, if they came with the bird), and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, whisk together the spice blend until combined. Reserve roughly one teaspoon for the vegetables.
- Follow these detailed instructions on how to spatchcock the chicken. Place the chicken, skin side up, on a large cutting board. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and rub on the skin. Sprinkle and rub the spice mixture all over the chicken. Season the chicken liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. *Note: It is best to remove the chicken from the fridge at least 3o to 45 minutes before roasting, this will help produce crispier skin.
- Combine the vegetables in a small to medium roasting pan. Drizzle them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining spice mixture. Pour the chicken broth over the vegetables, and spread the vegetables and potatoes into an even layer. Set a roasting rack on top of the vegetables, and place the spatchcocked chicken, skin-side up, on the rack. It should lay mostly flat.
- Roast until the skin is crispy and golden brown, and the thickest part of the breasts and legs read 157 degrees F with an instant thermometer. The temperature will raise by 8 to 10 degrees as the chicken sits and rests.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and using oven mitts, carefully remove the roasting rack with the chicken and set on top of a large, clean cutting board. Stir the vegetables and roast (425 degrees F) for an additional 12 to 15 minutes as the chicken rests (this will help finish the cooking and help them caramelize evenly), or until caramelized and fork tender. If the pan looks very dry, add an additional 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of chicken broth before placing back in the oven.
- As the vegetables are finishing roasting, carve the chicken. Using a sharp carving knife, remove the legs. Using the breastbone as a guide, remove each chicken breast from the bone. Slice each breast against the grain into 1/2-inch to 3/4 inch-thick pieces. Serve hot with the warm roasted vegetables on the side.
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