Weeknight Chicken Recipe | Crispy Chicken with Sumac & Lime

Weeknight Chicken Recipe | Crispy Chicken with Sumac & Lime

What is your go-to weeknight chicken recipe? I am perpetually on the look out for that perfect one–simple, tasty, and approved by everyone at the table. This turmeric chicken with sumac and lime is my current favorite, hopefully it will become yours too.

What is Sumac?

The sumac that is used in cooking, often in Middle eastern cuisine, is a powder made from the dried berry of a bush commonly growing in the Mediterranean region. Sumac powder has a tart and sour flavor, and is a great counterpart in this recipe to the earthy ground turmeric, not to mention a beautiful purple-ish color.  I also use sumac in this Crisp Romaine Salad with Parsley and Mint, and it is a main ingredient in za-atar spice blends. Sumac may be found at Middle eastern grocery stores, or ordered online.

Skin-on vs. Skinless Chicken

I love crispy chicken skin, and buy skin-on chicken thighs from my local farmer. It’s a shame to let chicken skin go to waste by not browning it before hand. Non crispy chicken skin is rubbery and just all around unpleasant, in my opinion. For this weeknight chicken recipe, I am sure to crisp up the chicken skin in the pan before popping it in the oven. If you have skinless chicken on hand, browning isn’t necessary, you can pop the spice-rubbed thighs right into the oven, they will take less time to cook.

Crispy Turmeric Chicken with Sumac & Lime
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins

A tangy and simple chicken recipe. 

Adapted from a recipe from Serious Eats

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: easy middle eastern chicken
Servings: 4
Author: Aliye Aydin
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs* (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 limes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  1. Pull out chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plan on cooking it, if possible. This will ensure even cooking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

  2. Zest limes and mince garlic. Combine in a small bowl with turmeric, salt, pepper, and olive oil. 

  3. Rub chicken thighs with lime/turmeric/salt mixture. You can let the chicken marinate up to 24 hours, or proceed with recipe.

  4. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once you see whispy white smoke, add chicken, skin side down, and cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip chicken over, and slide entire pan into oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. 

  5. Remove chicken from oven sprinkle and with sumac. Serve with zested limes cut in half, for squeezing over chicken if desired. 

Recipe Notes

*If you use skinless chicken, you may skip the browning step and just bake the chicken for 25 minutes, or until done.

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