Baharat Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

This baharat roast chicken with sweet potatoes is an easy-to-prepare, one-pan meal of tender spice-rubbed roast chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, shallots, and the whole shebang is drizzled with a preserved lemon oil.

A serving platter topped with baharat roast chicken with sweet potatoes and a bowl of preserved lemon oil on the side along with a bottle of wine and a wine goblet.

Though the taste of this baharat roast chicken with sweet potatoes is revelatory, there’s nothing surprising about the underlying technique. It’s just the centuries-old approach of rubbing a chicken with flavor and roasting it atop vegetables so that the flavor-imbued juices soak into the underlying ingredients. Simple in approach. Not in flavor.–Renee Schettler

What is baharat?

Baharat is a spice blend common in Turkish and Arabic cultures that varies by household yet typically contains some combination of black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and paprika. The term “baharat” in Arabic literally means “spices,” and the warm, earthy spice blend with notes of smoky and sweet is used as generally as its name implies. The taste is somewhat similar to garam masala. Baharat is commonly relied on in recipes for lamb, chicken, and fish as well as rice and soups. You can mix it with olive oil, as in this recipe, to create a spice rub for chicken.

Baharat Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 40 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).

Slide your fingers beneath the skin of the chicken to gently separate it from the meat. Pour 1/4 cup of the oil over the chicken, rubbing it all over the outside of the bird as well as under the skin. Then season the chicken over and under the skin with the baharat, 1 to 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. You want to cover every part of the chicken with spice.

In a roasting pan, toss the sweet potatoes, shallots, and garlic with another 1/4 cup of the oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Arrange the shallots and garlic in the center of the roasting pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the vegetables.

Tester tip: You want the garlic and shallots to be beneath the chicken so they have some protection against the heat of the oven. Otherwise, they may scorch.

Roast until the chicken is crisp and golden, the juices run clear when pierced, and a meat thermometer inserted in a thigh reads 165°F (74°C), 60 to 80 minutes.

Carefully remove the chicken from the pan and tent it with foil. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes.

Check the vegetables. If they aren’t tender, return the pan with the vegetables to the oven and roast until they’re done, probably no more than 5 to 10 minutes more.

In a small bowl, mix together the chopped preserved lemon rind and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.

Tester tip: If you prefer a creamier rather than a chunkier consistency, you could instead process the preserved lemon rind and oil in a blender.

Peel the garlic and toss the cloves back in the pan. This is tedious but worth it.

Carve the chicken and arrange the pieces on a platter. Serve the chicken surrounded with the roasted vegetables and drizzled with the preserved lemon oil.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This is very rich in flavor and aroma. The scent fills the room and the flavor doesn't disappoint. Crispy skin is essential in a roast chicken, and this spicy and oil-laden skin gets you there. A superb, flavor-filled, comfort-food or dinner-for-guests meal.

The amazing part is that it is really quick to prepare. Additionally, I think one could actually prep the chicken and keep it in the fridge overnight. Then the next night it gets placed in the oven. I will try that the next time.

I served it alongside small plates of the Arab salad called fattoush with pita and it was perfect. It would easily serve four people.

I did not put the spices under the skin. I put them all over the skin.
There was a fair amount of very flavorful pan juices. I poured them into a small bowl and put it on the table.

My personal assessment: This recipe is very forgiving. By that I mean that even if you don’t measure everything precisely, it will be fine. And while I will fix this again, I think I would rather have Israeli couscous or basmati rice instead of the sweet potatoes. And perhaps another head of garlic.

This recipe was a delight—easy to make, low maintenance, and absolutely delicious!

The chicken was scrummy, but the heroes of the dish were the sweet potatoes, shallots, and garlic. They were roasted to melting tenderness under the chicken and they soaked up all of the lovely juices!

The preserved lemon dressing was also a lovely tangy counterpoint to the rest of the dish.

A whole head of garlic might seem like a lot, but trust the recipe. It works! The only fiddly bit of this recipe is actually peeling the garlic at the end, but it's totally worth it.

There were no instructions to baste the chicken during cooking. I was worried that the chicken would be dry, but I needn't have worried! My husband has already asked me to make this again!

A few of the garlic cloves were a bit overdone and dark when I peeled them. Make sure the garlic cloves are tucked well under the chicken so they aren't exposed and they don't burn.

I seasoned over and under the chicken skin. I recommend doing this otherwise putting all the seasoning on the skin could make it too salty.


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  1. You had me at preserved lemons and crisp chicken !! So Moroccan and delicious!! Definitely will serve again with a lovely meal

    1. It really IS delightful, isn’t it, Bonnie?! Thanks for taking the time to let us know how much you enjoyed it.

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