Spice-Rubbed Chicken on Root Vegetables

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Spice-Rubbed Chicken on Root Vegetables

Excerpted and adapted slightly from 52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen by Faith Kramer. Copyright © 2021. Available from The Collective Book Studio.

Photo Credit: Clara Rice

Faith Kramer is a food writer and recipe developer concentrating on the food ways, history, and customs of the Jewish diaspora. 

Faith has taught cooking classes on food from around the world, presented programs on Jewish customs, celebrations, and holidays, and led food-related walking tours that explore the economic, geographic, and political underpinnings of the food as well as how to use international ingredients in other contexts. 

The Moroccan influence on this dish creates a roast chicken meal bursting with flavor. It is simple to prepare, so it's perfect for a crowd. 

Serves 6 to 8


5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 to 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups (1/2-inch slices) carrots
2 cups (1/2-inch chunks) peeled potatoes
2 cups (1/2-inch chunks) peeled sweet potatoes
2 cups (1/2-inch chunks) peeled and seeded butternut squash, or additional potatoes or sweet potatoes
2 cups (1/2-inch chunks) diced onion
10 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth, plus more if needed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
2 large heads Whole Roasted Garlic (optional)



Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch or larger baking pan or roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

If you’re using chicken breasts, cut any larger pieces in half. In a small bowl, stir together 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper, the cumin, turmeric, cayenne, lemon juice, and remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the spice paste to a medium bowl and set aside. Brush or rub the remaining spice paste on all sides of the chicken pieces and set aside on a plate.

Place the carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, onions, and garlic cloves in the baking pan. Set aside.

In a bowl, add the chicken broth, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper to the reserved 2 tablespoons of spice paste and stir until combined. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and toss until combined. Spread out the vegetables into a single layer in the baking pan.

Loosely cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven and brush or spoon the pan juices over the vegetables, adding more broth, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the pan seems dry.

Place the chicken pieces, skin side up, on top of the vegetables in a single layer. Brush or spoon some of the pan juices over the chicken. Roast, uncovered, for about 50 minutes, basting the chicken and vegetables every 15 to 20 minutes with the pan juices. (Add more broth, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.)

Cut into a piece of chicken; it is done when the juices run clear when you cut into the thickest piece. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part but away from the bone of a chicken piece should read 160F for white meat and 175F for dark meat, when checked a few times over 3 minutes.

Tent the chicken loosely with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro, garnish with the roasted garlic (if using), and serve.

MAKE IT IN ADVANCE: The vegetables, pan juices, and chicken can be stored in separate airtight containers and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

1 Response


March 07, 2022

Just made this – love the sweetness with zero added sugar. Packed full of flavor!

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