Bountiful & Self-saucing Roasted Chicken (Djaj Mashwi o Maraqa)

Can you ever have enough roasted chicken recipes?

This is perhaps the one part of cooking where the more recipes the merrier! You can never have enough roasted chicken recipes. You will always roast chicken, easy, very convenient cooking and absolutely bountiful in flavour and health benefits. People long associated chicken and its soup (sauce) to be soul food, to fix ailments, treat a cold, revitalise and feed a tired body as well as be the go to food to unwind and feel at home. As such, and while we will definitely repeat some of our favourite recipes (I use this one almost every where, it is my go to recipe as is and as base to many other concoctions), we do want the variety and change, and so the more roast chicken recipes the merrier.

With that said, this is one recipe you will want to hold on to, as not only is it perfect on its own, but it also lends itself very well to a variety of concoctions. Very well balanced in flavour, absolutely delicious, and not like those recipes that give you dry chickens, no sir, this one is a succulent, super moist (including the usually dry white parts), self-saucing (giving you gorgeous sauce to flavour other dishes)… from pulled chicken sandwiches to ready chicken to use anywhere… think of the leftover options… I can never say enough… but you can try and will be singing the praise of this as I do!

The roasting juices here are unbelievably delicious, dunk a baguette in there and eat away with your favourite vino, and you will almost forget to eat any chicken! I don’t know about you, but I make this and every time it reminds me why life is so good!

Because this is one of my cookbook Plated Heirlooms recipes, I thought why not share with you a video of my book’s press launch. Take a look and see how I chose to launch my book and why, also to know a bit more of what you can find inside my book Plated Heirlooms. If you have not yet bought your copy, I have no idea why not! It really is a beautiful book, take a look and see. Then you can order it on the link at the end of this post 🙂


Serves: 4
  • 1 whole organic, free range chicken
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp DS Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp DS Meat & Poultry Spice Mix
  • DS Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup water


Rinse the chicken thoroughly, cleaning the inside well. Drain and pat dry. Rub the chicken all over (inside and out) with the quartered lemon and sprinkle with salt, then place in a deep roasting dish.

In a small bowl, mix well together the black pepper, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, spice mix, olive oil, and lemon juice. Rub the inside and outside of the chicken with this aromatic mixture. Add any remaining mixture to the roasting dish along with 1/2 cup water. Then add the whole spices to the dish.

Cover and roast in a 450F -230C oven for 40 minutes. Once done, remove the cover and continue to roast 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is browned and cooked through.


to know if the chicken is done, check the thighs, they should run out of juices or if any remain they should be clear. The meat should easily separate from the bones. A more accurate method for knowing is using an instant meat thermometer. When the thermometer is inserted into the innermost of the chicken thigh, without touching the bone or the bottom of the tray, it should register 75C, and that is how you know it is done.

Serve this decadent chicken as is with some bread to dunk into the sauce. It works very well with yogurt on the side, and if you wish a tray of assorted roasted seasonal vegetables and potatoes. Otherwise it is perfect on the side of Mloukhieh (stew of Jute leaves on this link), or when pulled in the making of sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes… For a simple option, make a spiced rice pilaf or freekeh (recipe on this link) and serve with a garden salad for a wholesome, nutritious and absolutely healthy meal.


This recipe is from the repertoire of over 280 recipes in my book Plated Heirlooms. The book contains recipes from all sections of the Palestinian cuisine, starting with Mooneh (pantry recipes) to dessert and everything in between. Plated Heirlooms is a documentation of recipes and cuisine rationale as well as the compiled story of the cuisine.

All Plated Heirlooms recipes come with background information and thorough descriptions that in the end tie up with the rest of the book’s narrative to explain to you the formation and makings of Palestinian cuisine.

You can order “Plated Heirlooms” here and we will ship it to you anywhere in the world.

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