Za’atar and Lemon Roast Chicken…lazy weekends!!

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Za’atar and Lemon Roast Chicken…for busy weekends and lazy weekdays…a recipe which is full of flavour and zero on the effort…and a dish which looks prettier uncooked in my kitchen (read:hands!!) J…I am not a fan of readymade spice mixes but this is one of those pantry staples…recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.

Za’atar and Lemon Roast Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken, I used bone in thighs with skin on, 5 (around 150 grams each)
  • Garlic, 1 whole pod, separated but left unpeeled
  • Za’atar Spice Mix, 2 tbsp (a middle Eastern spice mix available at all major supermarkets.Typically a mix of Sumac, toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, dried marjoram and salt.)
  • Lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
  • Lemon zest, from 1 large lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Red Chili flakes, to taste (optional, I used about ¼ tsp)
  • Olive Oil, 2 tbsp

Instructions

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, pepper and red chili flakes in a large flat oven roasting dish. (I marinate in the same dish that I would be baking in later)

Pat dry the chicken and pierce the chicken pieces a few times with a pairing knife or a fork (when using chicken with skin, I do this on the underside of the thighs so that skin remains intact.)

Add the chicken to the roasting dish and rub the spice mix all over the chicken pieces. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight. (I have grilled immediately, baked immediately as well and in this instance marinated it for an hour– works well whichever way!)

When ready to cook, get the chicken back to room temperate and sprinkle salt all over the chicken (if making immediately, add the salt in the rub mix)

Spread the garlic cloves all around the dish.

Bake skin side up in a preheated oven at 210C for 45 to 50 minutes.

Serve with simple salad (citrus or mustard dressing), crusty bread or couscous.

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