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Middle Eastern Slow Roasted Chicken

Don’t let your date night sneak up on you! You need an elegant but simple recipe like this Middle Eastern Slow Roasted Chicken to wow your date!

Middle Eastern Slow Roasted Chicken

For some reason, a lot of folks find the thought of cooking a whole chicken daunting. Maybe it’s because turkey cooking can be a bit cumbersome? But we are talking about a bird that’s generally 1/4 the size of a turkey.

This Middle Eastern Slow Roasted Chicken could not be easier to make but is so full of impressive flavor! You’ll want to keep this one in your back pocket anytime you have company over, trust me.

If you’re planning on going homemade for Valentine’s Day this year, it may be overwhelming with the millions of recipes at your disposal on the world wide web. Do you make pasta? a casserole? Do fish instead of chicken?

It’s a lot. Provided you’re making dinner for a carnivore and not a vegetarian (DEF something you want to know first), a classic roast chicken with a twist is always a safe but impressive choice. Serve with warm naan, Greek yogurt, fresh lemon, and maybe a side of roasted cauliflower and potato (coming Sunday to the blog!).

Pair this chicken with a nice crisp and dry rosé and your date night is sure to be a success!

A few notes:

This chicken is very hands-off, but if you feel led, you can baste the chicken every hour or so to help the skin evenly crisp.

I’d highly recommend getting a meat thermometer if you don’t have one. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the meat near the inner thigh between the leg and the breast and if it reads between 160°F and 165°F, it’s done.

Want more of that Middle Eastern flavor? Try my Honey Za’atar Hot Wings!

Middle Eastern Slow Roasted Chicken Middle Eastern Slow Roasted Chicken Middle Eastern Slow Roasted Chicken

Recipe adapted from Alison Roman’s Slow Roasted Chicken.

Middle Eastern Slow Roasted Chicken
Yield: 4

Middle Eastern Slow Roasted Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 3½–4-pound chicken, innards removed, patted dry, and legs tied.
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 tbsp za'atar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 head of garlic, halved horizontally, exposing the cloves
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Warm naan, for serving
  • Greek yogurt, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix allspice, cardamom, cumin, sumac, za'atar, and pepper in a small bowl to combine.
  3. Place chicken in a 2-qt. baking dish. Season chicken liberally with salt, over and under the skin. Rub with half of the spice mix, pressing and working it into the meat.
  4. Fill the cavity of the bird with the garlic, onion, lemon, and cinnamon stick.
  5. Pour olive oil over the top and bake in the preheated oven until chicken is cooked through and very tender 2½–3 hours.
  6. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve with warm naan and Greek yogurt.


*Additional seasoning is great kept in an airtight jar and used on potatoes or roasted cauliflower!

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 30th of March 2024


Monday 14th of February 2022

Hi the recipe says to rub half the spice mix over the chicken but it doesn't say what you do with the other half? thanks


Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Sorry, that wasn't clear! I just save it in a small airtight jar for future use!


Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

Hello, I’m planning on cooking the chicken. Do you cover the chicken while it’s in the oven? Also, did you use cast iron pan?


Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

I did not cover the chicken while it was cooking, only while resting on the counter after. I have cooked in a cast iron and in a roasting pan both with the same results!


Friday 2nd of July 2021

I'm using the ingredients and roasting now--smells great!--but it certainly will not take nearly three hours to cook, unless you want your chicken overdone. At 325 degrees, one and a half hours max, I'd suggest.


Thursday 8th of July 2021

Hi Tim, I'm so happy you visited the blog and made the recipe! I really hoped you enjoyed the chicken. And you're right, there's nothing like the smell of a great dish being prepared. Thanks for your suggestion, however, this is a slow-roasted chicken and meant to be cooked low and slow to enhance the flavor. If you feel the chicken is overdone, feel free to knock down a few degrees, maybe try 300. I hope you were able to enjoy it!

Wayne Lind

Monday 25th of January 2021

My wife loved it. She loves carrots and she thought this is a good way to do them. Had them with Tiki Chicken and steamed rice Thanks


Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Thanks so much for letting me know! I'm so glad you enjoyed them!

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