grilled chicken with za’atar
June 4, 2014 § 81 Comments
Finally we can brush off the grill and get started on summertime grilling. Here is a magnificent grilled chicken recipe using roasted garlic, tangy lemon and intoxicatingly aromatic za’atar. We are a bit old fashioned in our grilling method. We use a charcoal style barbecue and I always buy mesquite lump charcoal. The mesquite really enhances the flavor of your grilled vegetables and meat. Although a bit more time consuming with ash clean up and building a fire; it is certainly worth it when you taste a hint of mesquite in your grilled food. Deliciously served with a baby arugula and warm chickpea salad.
There are two ways to go with this. Admittedly I don’t have much forethought when it comes to cooking. I think about food and cooking all the time, but I don’t plan ahead and take the step of something so simple as marinading the meat for 24 hours. The original recipe suggests marinading, but I wanted to cook it now, not tomorrow. I went ahead and prepared the marinade and allowed it to steep for approximately 45 minutes while the chicken was warming to room temperature. The flavors were fresh and vibrant and the heat from the serrano pepper was just enough to let you know it was present. The za’atar is every bit intoxicating in flavor as it is in fragrance.
Recipe heavily adapted from Bon Appétit
I n g r e d i e n t s
- 2 heads of garlic, top third cut off
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 chicken thighs-bone in, organically raised
- 1/4 cup Za’atar – recipe to follow
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest and 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 serrano chile, seeded, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
M e t h o d
Preheat oven to 400°F. Put garlic on a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and wrap tightly with foil. Roast until tender and golden brown, 45-50 minutes. Let cool.
Place chicken in a glass baking dish large enough to hold chicken. Sprinkle 2 1/2 tablespoons za’atar over chicken. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of skins and into a small bowl; mash into a paste with the back of a fork. Add 4 tablespoons oil, lemon zest and juice, rosemary and serrano; whisk to blend. Pour over chicken; turn to coat. Cover; chill overnight – or not…allow to steep for one hour while chicken is warming to room temperature.
Meanwhile, build a fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Brush grill rack with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is crisp and browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of thigh without touching bone reads 160°, about 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon za’atar, and let rest 10 minutes.
z a ‘ t a a r
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon sumac
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients! Enjoy.
b a b y a r u g u l a a n d w a r m c h i c k p e a s a l a d
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
- 4 sprigs thyme
- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 3 cups arugula with tender stems
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Flaky sea salt
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat; cook chickpeas, thyme, and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, just until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Toss arugula, lemon zest, and lemon juice into chickpeas. Serve drizzled with more oil and sprinkled with sea salt.