Coriander Chicken with Lemon and Sumac
The Ottomans loved using coriander/cilantro, with its pungent fresh leaves and silky, warming seeds, but when the empire was abolished in 1923, it seemingly fell from grace and coriander leaves barely feature in modern Turkish cookery. Coriander goes well with the tart bite of lemon and sumac. Pul biber (Aleppo pepper) can be found in Mediterranean markets; otherwise, use chili powder.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large bunch coriander/cilantro
- Fresh squeezed juice of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon pul biber or ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 pounds chicken pieces (thigh or breast), skinned, or a whole 3-pound chicken, jointed and skinned
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground sumac
- Crush and chop the garlic in the salt. Roughly chop the coriander leaves, and mix them both in a large bowl. Add the garlic, lemon juice, pul biber, cumin and salt to taste. Mix well, add the chicken pieces and stir the marinade through the chicken pieces. Set aside in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours, turning the chicken now and then.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour the oil into an ovenproof baking dish, and put the dish in the oven to heat it and the oil. When it is hot, remove from the oven carefully, and spoon in the chicken with its marinade. Stir well to baste the chicken with the hot oil, and return to the oven for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with sumac and serve with a salad or potatoes.
- Reprinted with permission from Yashim Cooks Istanbul: Culinary Adventures in the Ottoman Kitchen by Jason Goodwin (Argonaut Books, 2016).