Tahini-and-honey roast chicken
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 56: No tears over spilled wine or weird chicken

Tahini Roasted Chicken

Struggling to smear a sticky paste onto a slippery chicken breast, I began to doubt the wisdom of today’s recipe.

Tahini-and-honey roast chicken sounded like a great idea. Tahini is known as the Middle Eastern answer to peanut butter and honey is an excellent accompaniment to peanut butter. This could only be a win for the bird.

Except the only thing the paste would stick to was me. And the cutting board. Also my laptop, after repeated elbow jabs wouldn’t bring it out of sleep mode so I could double-check the recipe. Other victims included the telephone (I blame myself for answering — obviously I should have known it was the nightly dinner-hour telemarketing call), and the kitchen sink. But how else was I to wash my hands?

Dan was in the kitchen through all of this, watching with a mixture of amusement and amazement. You are probably asking: Did any of that tahini-honey paste get on him?

No. No, it didn’t.

I will not lie, I began secretly hoping for some kitchen karma. That the chicken would emerge golden and glorious, and that Dan would suffer some kind of cosmic comeuppance. In this moment, I was not a good person.

And just like that, it was actually happening. The doorbell rang and Dan suddenly had his hands full with an earnest Heart and Stroke volunteer and a chocolate Labrador with a greeting disorder. As Dan hunted for 20 bucks, the dog leaped on the volunteer, leaped on Dan, barked wildly, leaped on the couch, seized a throw pillow and … threw it. At Dan’s glass of wine. Red wine. Everywhere.

I would have helped but I was really busy. Very, very busy. My chicken was coming out of the oven all golden and smelling delicious and I had photographs to take before we could eat. I was exceptionally busy.

So, about that chicken.

It was lovely to look at and, well, not-so-lovely to eat. “Weird,” pronounced Dan, going to get the salt.

Peanut butter chicken. It is not a thing.

And karma?

She’s a bitch.

Kitchen Castoff Used

Last of the jar of tahini

Tahini-and-honey roast chicken
Tahini-and-honey roast chicken. Lovely to look at.

This is how we did it

OK, fine, we did not love this but I think the recipe is worth giving a shot. Don’t lay on the paste too thick, which I definitely did. It’s a really powerful flavour. As well, consider adding some additional heat or salt. A sprinkle of cayenne, salt or both as the chicken is cooking might make the difference.


  • Chicken. The original recipe calls for a whole bird, we cooked two chicken breasts. I imagine this would be fine on thighs as well.
  • An amount of tahini plus half that amount of honey, stirred together.
    The recipe calls for ½ cup of tahini and ¼ cup of honey and that is an appropriate amount for painting the kitchen. Depending on how much chicken you are making, you can easily cut those amounts by half or more.
  • 2 tsp salt (based on full recipe, reduce accordingly)
  • 1 tsp pepper (as above)
  • Lemon wedges
  • Fresh oregano for garnish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the tahini and honey together with the salt and pepper, and rub half the mixture under the chicken skin. Rub the remainder on the chicken. Cook uncovered, though you can put it under a foil tent if need be. Cooking time will depend on whether you are making a whole bird or just pieces.

Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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