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Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime

February 8, 2016

By Kath Dedon


I’ve made Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime twice and it’s a winner! The recipe is from Louisa Shafia’s beautiful cookbook, The New Persian Kitchen. I’ve checked the book out of the library twice. There are so many recipes that I want to try! Carrie got the book for Christmas and has already made several recipes. She has given them all rave reviews. I think this is a book that I will be adding to my library.

I made one major change to the recipe. Carrie made it as written and told me it was delicious but too salty. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of sea salt in the turmeric rub. That just seems like too much for four chicken thighs. I used just 1 teaspoon of sea salt and it was perfectly seasoned.

Looking at the ingredients, the recipe seems pretty ordinary but they all work together to make a fabulous, and quick, chicken dinner. Served with steamed rice and a big salad it’s a great main dish. Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime is sure to be part of my regular rotation and I’m looking forward to trying a lot of the other recipes in the book.

Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime


Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime

(Adapted from Louisa Shafia’s recipe in The New Persian Kitchen)


(print the recipe)


Serves 4


1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

4 bone-in chicken thighs

2 tablespoons oil

¾ cup water

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 juicy lime, quartered

Sumac, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to warm, and put an oven-proof plate in to warm up.
  2. Mix the salt, pepper, and turmeric together.
  3. Put the chicken thighs on a rimmed baking sheet. (I lined it with foil for easy clean up.)

Chicken thighs and turmeric rub.

4. Rub all of the turmeric mixture all over both sides of the chicken thighs.

ready to cook


5. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, put the chicken thighs in skin-side down. Cook for about 7 minutes. Turn the thighs over and cook for an additional 7 minutes.

finished browning


6. Reduce the heat to low. Add the water and garlic, stirring the garlic in the liquid.

water and garlic added


7. Cover and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, until done. (They will measure at least 165° with an instant-read thermometer.)

8. Remove the thighs to the warm plate in the oven. Increase the heat on the stove to high and cook the sauce for just a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce it a bit.

9. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Dust with a bit of sumac and serve with a lime quarter to squeeze over the thigh.


Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime - Copy



10 Comments leave one →
  1. Harper permalink
    January 11, 2017 12:40 pm

    I found your recipe randomly on Pinterest and want to thank you! It was a big hit with my seven-year-old son (and with me)! Very tasty and good to make on work/school nights. I don’t normally eat leftovers (or comment on recipes), but I brought this to work today and loved it. Thanks again!

  2. teya permalink
    March 25, 2017 8:54 am

    a friend is sending me some sumac from Jerusalem. I am so making this TY

    • March 25, 2017 9:17 am

      What a treat to get some sumac from Jerusalem! Hope you enjoy this chicken as much as we do. 🙂

  3. Linda permalink
    March 29, 2018 5:38 pm

    Delicious. Thank you for sharing this absolutely yummy ,Linda

  4. redjimsgirl permalink
    February 19, 2022 8:18 pm

    Just made this tonight and it was fabulous! Thank you for the tip about the salt – I used 1 teaspoon and it was perfect!

    • February 20, 2022 7:42 am

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for your comment!

      • josie permalink
        February 1, 2023 5:20 am

        pretty sure the 1 T of salt is meant to draw moisture out of the chicken skin, which would then result in a much crispier chicken skin when the chicken is seared properly (malliard reaction). I suggest using the recommended amount of salt – 1T, in the rub, and letting the chicken sit for about ten minutes before cooking, and then blotting away any moisture before adding the thighs to the pan. Should result in very crisp, even browned skin without too much of a salty taste.

        • February 1, 2023 6:52 am

          Oh, my gosh, Josie, I think you’re right! I have certainly read about that technique. I so appreciate your comment, and I will give it a try.

  5. January 11, 2017 3:15 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that you and your son enjoyed it, Harper! Thanks so much for letting me know, I appreciate it. 🙂


  1. Happy New Year! | In the kitchen with Kath

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