Thursday, December 17, 2015

Za'atar Roasted Chicken Breasts

The key to entertaining is to not only serve mind-blowing food that has a ton of flavor and depth but also to make sure that everyone (including the chef) has a good time. How do you achieve this? A one pot main dish, of course, like my newest find: Ottolenghi's Za'atar Roasted Chicken Breasts. This tasty Mediterranean dish can be prepared in advance and popped into the oven just before everyone arrives. It's marinated in lemon juice and all of my favorite Middle-Eastern spices like Za'atar and sumac that makes the chicken super juicy, tasty, and memorable.  Serve it with Basmati, Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants, and herbs, or Roasted Cauliflower with tahini sauce or Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Onion with Tahini and Za'atar. 

Recipe after the jump:

Serves: 4
For the Marinade
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground sumac, more for later
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika, more for later
  • 7 large garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced or roughly chopped
  • ½ large lemon, sliced
Remaining Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp Za'atar, divided
  • 2 tbsp toasted shaved almonds
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the marinade ingredients.
  2. Place the chicken in a deep dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with the marinade. To ensure good flavor, work some of the marinade underneath the skin of the chicken breasts. Cover and place the chicken in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Transfer the chicken breasts and the marinade to a baking dish or a cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with a little more sumac and paprika. Now sprinkle 1 tbsp of the za'atar, and take another tbsp of za'atar to work underneath the skin of chicken breasts. You should have 1 tbsp za'atar left for later.
  5. Place the chicken in the 400 degrees F heated-oven; roast for 40-45 mins.
  6. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with a little more sumac and the remaining za'atar. Garnish with the toasted nuts and fresh parsley. Enjoy!

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