Za’atar Chicken is being found on many menus just as Za’atar is being “discovered” as a “new” herb blend and finding its way into many cuisines outside the Middle East. The many spices and herbs found in this wonderful blend go well with a variety of vegetables, meats and other dishes. Thyme is found in all za’atar blends since za’atar is the Arabic word for the family of regional herbs, which includes thyme. Being an ancient spice and blend, traced back to Babylonian days, it varies with the country, region and family, not unlike curry blends. Our Lebanese version is more complex, making it more versatile than others. Thyme, Marjoram and Sumac lead the way and adds to the flavor of chicken, potatoes, breads and many other dishes.
This oven roasted chicken recipe has a crispy finish, with the flavors of the Za’atar, lemon and a bit of garlic. Served with an herbed rice, roasted vegetables and side of hummus and pita, and you have a wonderful fusion meal combining several cuisines. We have several recipes using Za’atar, including a Smashed Potato recipe and Herbed Za’atar Bread. We also have a traditional hummus recipe, which is always a perfect side dish for any Middle Eastern recipe.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place chicken pieces on a foil lined baking pan. Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil and rub to coat completely. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 ½ Tablespoons of Za’atar and the granulated garlic evenly over the chicken. For extra flavor, rub some of the Za’atar under skin. Place 2-3 lemon slices underneath chicken skin. Place the rest of the lemon slices and the garlic cloves under the chicken pieces.
Roast the chicken until cooked thoroughly for about 50-60 minutes. The internal temperature of the thighs at the thickest part, not touching the bone, should be 165 degrees. The chicken should be crispy and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Serve with roasted potatoes, or other roasted vegetables, which can also be cooked with a sprinkle of Za’atar. We have a Za’atar Smashed Potato Recipe on our website as well.