Jaj Bl Hamed w Tum (Baked Chicken with Lemon & Garlic)

Make the chicken that's given a mother-daughter duo a cult following
49 Ratings
100% would make again
Syrian Roast Chicken with Lemon & Garlic Recipe
Photo: Brendan McHale

Every Friday at Comal, Denver's food incubator for aspiring immigrant restaurateurs, you'll find a Middle Eastern feast being prepared by Iraqi-Syrian refugees Vian Alnidawi and Sara Nassr. Their spread includes everything from shakriyeh, a lamb yogurt stew, to this traditional roast chicken, where the crispy meat rests on a bed of potatoes and onions before being brushed with lemon and garlic. It's the kind of Syrian home cooking that's helping the mother-daughter duo make a name for themselves among locals and big-name chefs alike.

To learn more, read "Coming Home."

Jaj Bl Hamed w Tum (Baked Chicken with Lemon & Garlic)

Recipe adapted from Vian Alnidawi and Sara Nassr, Comal Heritage Food Incubator, Denver, CO

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes


1 medium onion, cut in in half, julienned  

2 large russet potatoes, cut into wedges  

4 chicken legs

1 tablespoon kosher salt (or to taste)

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

5 garlic cloves, grated

2 lemons, juiced, roughly ⅓ cup of juice 


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, toss the onions, potatoes and chicken legs with the salt and 5 tablespoons of olive oil.

2. Arrange the onion and potato pieces evenly across a deep baking tray, then place the chicken legs on top. Bake for 1 hour.

3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the grated garlic, lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Remove the baking tray from the oven; the chicken should be brown and crispy. Spread the lemon-garlic mixture on top, then return the tray to the oven for 8 minutes.

5. Divide the legs among 4 plates and serve.


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