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Grilled Chicken with Za’atar

July 12, 2011

This is the perfect summer grilling recipe if you’re looking for something with a little Mediterranean influence.  I have

chicken with za'atar

always wanted to try za’atar but have not been able to find a lot of recipes with it.  I love this recipe from Bon Appetit, which has a wonderful marinade and the spice mixture imparts a ton of flavor to the chicken.  The recipe originally called for roasted garlic, but I simplified it by just adding chopped fresh garlic to the marinade.  The recipe also called for a whole chicken, but I used legs, which are my favorite inexpensive cut.  I left the skin on,  but you could take it off to reduce the calories and fat in the dish.  Just be careful when you grill it to not place it over high heat, which dries out the meat.  I served this with some purchased harissa for a little spice, and cumin aioli (made the cheater way- below), eggplant couscous, which I will post next, and some simple grilled zucchini.  Serves 4.


For the chicken:

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 T  olive oil

1/4 c Za’atar (see recipe below)

1 1/2 t lemon zest

3 T fresh lemon juice

1 T chopped fresh rosemary

1 small serrano chile, seeded, minced

2 t dried marjoram

4 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick), trimmed of fat and with skin and bones

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the za’atar:

1 T  chopped fresh oregano
1 T sumac
1 T ground cumin
1 T sesame seeds
1 t kosher salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
Place chicken in a 13x9x2″ glass baking dish or a zip-top bag.  Sprinkle 2 1/2 tablespoons za’atar over chicken.  Combine the garlic 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, chile, and marjoram and whisk to combine.  Pour the marinade over the chicken and turn to coat.  Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat a grill and brush the grill rack with remaining 1 tablespoon olive 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.
Serve with purchased harissa and cumin aioli, made by whisking 1 t ground cumin into 1/4 c prepared mayonnaise.
One Comment leave one →
  1. July 12, 2011 2:09 pm

    I´ve just discovered za´atar (I know, I was late to the party!) and love it. Like this recipe a lot and will try it out with some of our home reared chicken!

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