Sumac chicken with Persian tomato salad


Today called for something simple as I had delegated cooking dinner to Maus.  I had three good reasons for this.  I was making tomato sauce and bread rolls AND I have a tooth ache. Well, I think it is a tooth ache.  The pain is radiating down the left side of my jaw so it is hard to blame one tooth in particular. The dentist reckons he has found some infection under a crown and prescribed huge amounts of antibiotics.  I don’t like taking antibiotics but am too frightened not to in case I end up with a full blown abscess under the crown.  Anyway, I was feeling sorry for myself and figured I had enough on my plate so dinner was Maus’ responsibility.

I asked Maus what she wanted and she said “chicken”.  I added cucumber to the wish list, because we have a few, and searched  Eat Your Books.  I came up with this recipe.  The only ingredients we didn’t have in the house or garden were the fresh chilli (I have so many in the freezer.  I didn’t grow any last summer) and the hummus.  It was too late to make hummus so we just bought some.

Since I am such a sweetie, I ended up making the salad for Maus.  Feel free to adjust the salad ingredients to the quantities that suit you – I did.

The recipe is by Valli Little and is from Delicious magazine, February 2009.

These quantities serve four.  We halved the recipe.


  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs* pomegranate molasses
  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • hummus and Lebanese bread (if desired), to serve

*These are 20 mil tablespoons.


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 small Lebanese cucumbers, peeled
  • ½ salad onion
  • 1 long red chilli
  • 1 cup each of mint and flat-leaf parsley
  • Seeds of a pomegranate – this wasn’t in the recipe but they were a great addition and they are in season.
  • ⅓ cup shelled pistachios


  1. Combine the garlic, sumac, thyme, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses and salt and pepper in a shallow dish.
  2. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the salad.
  3. Combine remaining lemon juice, olive oil and pomegranate molasses in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk together.
  4. Cut the tomatoes, cucumber and onion into 2cm cubes. The recipe said to deseed the cucumber and tomato but as there was just Maus and me, I didn’t bother.
  5. Deseed and devein the chilli and slice lengthways.
  6. Chop the herbs.
  7. Place the salad ingredients in a bowl with the nuts and pomegranate seeds, if using. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
  8. Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan to medium-high.  When hot, add the chicken and grill until cooked through.
  9. Serve the chicken with salad, hummus and flat bread if, desired.  We skipped the bread as it is a bit filling but don’t skip the hummus.  It really made the recipe.

5 thoughts on “Sumac chicken with Persian tomato salad

  1. Hope your toothache is much better Glenda and your chicken dish looks yummy. Love the flavors of pomegranate molasses and sumac 🙂

  2. Chicken & Sumac – a delicious combo. I often toss chicken thighs in a mix of sumac and zataar and then bake. It doesn’t look pretty but tastes delicious. Sorry to hear about your tooth – the antibiotics will be for the best if it heads things off at the pass. xxx

  3. I adore pomegranite molasses and any recipe which includes that I love 🙂 Infact the whole meal sounds yum. I hope the tooth is better either now or very soon 🙂

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