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.

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
  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 4



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.

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.

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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