Sheet Pan Sumac Spiced Chicken With Plums

The plums and spices combined make a simple roast chicken a fabulous one. The plums give the meat a delicious fruity, sticky flavour and the sumac and lemon zest and juice add just the right amount of tang to this dish balancing out the sweetness of the plums. There are a variety of plums available right now, in lots of interesting colours and flavours. You can use any variety in this sheet pan chicken dish. The tart ones ofcourse will add less sweetness but still be quite delicious. I love using the the redder ones that are sort of in between - a little tartness and some sweetness.  

Sheet Pan Sumac Spiced Chicken With Plums

I love to bake with plums. They get so jammy and delicious in a sweet bake up like my German Plum Cake with Streusel and also in my Lemony Plum And Blackberry Upside Down Cake . Roasting them really heightens their subtle taste and turns them into a sweet, sour and savoury jammy chutney that is so nice to eat with this roasted chicken and even with my Slow Roasted Lamb With Plum Sriracha .This is an incredibly simple sheet pan chicken dish. The rub is easy to make and marinating can be from 30 minutes to overnight. Everything else gets tossed together and roasted.  Easy and delicious.

Sheet Pan Sumac Spiced Chicken With Plums

What is sumac?

Sumac is a tangy, lemony spice often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. It’s made from the dried and ground berries of the wild sumac flower. This fragrant spice is used to brighten up dry rubs, spice blends like za’atar, using it in salads instead of lemon juice, for dressings like in my fattoush salad or to season grilled meat and fish and it’s also delicious sprinkled over hummus. I also love sprinkling it on my avocado toast and even my eggs. It’s a spice that has gained even more popularity due in large part to bestselling cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi, and his bestselling cookbooks. Social media posts and hashtags, have made it even more popular  and in demand and it has slowly become almost a standard spice you can find at the grocery store.

Sheet Pan Sumac Spiced Chicken With Plums

The other spices are warming spices and make for a great combo in this dish. Cinnamon and all-spice are often used in middle eastern dishes. Not just in sweet dishes. They are in savoury ones too especially when it comes to stews, and meat dishes like shawarma and meatballs. I love them and I have always added them to my meat sauce - something my mom always added to hers and still does.

Sheet Pan Sumac Spiced Chicken With Plums

As you can tell from some of my previous post like my Chicken Marbella. I don’t shy away from adding fruit to savoury dishes whether it’s fresh or dried. I won’t stop either - this is one of two I’m sharing with stone fruit this season and they are both to die for. If you can get your hands on some sumac I strongly recommend grabbing some and making this and also enjoying it in so many other ways that I mentioned about. It’s always nice to expand the palate and try new spices - keeps things fun and fresh in the kitchen and you can add another great way to cook your chicken. If you love savoury with a touch of sweet you will love this one!!


Servings: 6

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total time: 1hr


For the Chicken

  • 1 lemon zested
  • ½ tsp brown sugar (optional for caramelization)
  • 1 tablespoons ground sumac
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 6-8 chickens thighs skin on bone in
  • 1 small bunch thyme, more for garnish

For the Plums

  • 8-10 small-Med size plums, halved or quartered if large (any variety)
  • 2 shallots, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 bay leaf, torn in half


  1. Place the lemon zest in a small bowl (Set aside the zested lemon) Stir in the sumac, salt, pepper, sugar if using, cinnamon,and allspice into the lemon zest. Stir in the olive oil and the garlic. Rub it all over the chicken and allow to marinate for 1 hour to overnight / remove from fridge and allow to come to room temp while oven is preheating
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Toss together plums, shallots, honey, oil, salt, cinnamon, allspice, bay leaf and 2 tablespoons water. Spread out ½ the plum mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Then scatter the thyme over them and Place chicken over the plums in the pan. Roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Then remove and REDUCE oven temp to 350 degrees F baste the chicken with pan juices and squeeze the juice of the lemon over the chicken and scatter remaining  plums onto the pan then continue to roast until the chicken is  golden-skinned and cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Once done serve with the plums and more thyme and lemon wedges for garnish.
  5. Serve with rice, couscous or some crusty bread to enjoy the pan juices with.

Apdapted from _Melissa Clark_ NY Times

Sheet Pan Sumac Spiced Chicken With Plums