Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
There aren't too many things in life that can top a simple roasted chicken, and this za'atar roast chicken won't disappoint.
Although I won't argue that a good brine or marinade can bring a bird back to life. This recipe packs enough flavor with the herby-tartness of za'atar to create a crispy, salty skin on the fly.
In my opinion, dark meat works best here, but feel free to use white meat instead, just remember to reduce the cook time by about 5-10 minutes. With chicken, I always check often because the cook time can vary quite a bit depending on the cut. Once the chicken is well-browned on top and the skin begins to pull away from the bone, it's time to enjoy.
It goes well with a cucumber salad and rice pilaf.
za'atar roast chicken
- 4 chicken leg and thighs, (or breasts, preferably bone-in and skin-on)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, (peeled, and light smashed but left whole)
- 4 tbsp za'atar, (preferably homemade, divided)
- 1 lemon, (cut into slices)
- salt, (to taste)
- handful of almonds, (for topping)
- parsley or mint, (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 450° and remove chicken from the fridge to come to room temperature. While waiting, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add almonds and toast for 3-4 minutes until very fragrant. Remove from the pan and crush with a mortar and pestle or the butt of a knife.
- Turn off the heat, but while the pan is still hot add the olive oil, garlic, and half of the za'atar, and let sit while you prep the chicken.
- When the chicken is at room temperature, pat dry with a kitchen towel and sprinkle salt liberally on all sides. Add the chicken to the skillet skin-side up and baste the olive oil mixture over the chicken until well-coated. Top with the remaining za'atar, another sprinkle of salt, and some lemon slices.
- Put the skillet in the hot oven and roast for 40 minutes (depending on the cut and amount of chicken) or until the skin is well browned and the juices run clear. Every 10 minutes or so baste the top of the chicken with the olive oil but leave it skin side up, this will help develop a really crispy, flavorful skin and keep the inside tender.
- Let the chicken cool for a few minutes. Serve with the chopped almonds, additional lemon slices, parsley, mint, a sprinkle of sea salt, and some pan-drippings.