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Recipe: Za'atar Roasted Chicken

In "The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors," features in today's Buffalo News, Robert and Molly Krause encourage cooks to experiment with tried-and-true flavor combinations, like this blend of thyme, sesame and sumac that evokes the Lebanese spice blend za'atar.

Za’atar Roasted Chicken

This flavorful spice mix is used as a rub for a roasted chicken. Try the same technique with fish such as salmon.

2 tablespoons (5 g) chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons (16 g) sesame seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons (5 g) ground sumac
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to sprinkle on lemons
2 lemons, quartered
1 whole chicken (2 to 3 pounds [900 g to 1.3 kg])
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Combine the thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle lemons with salt, and stuff inside the chicken cavity. Cover chicken with the spice blend and place in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil.
 
Bake uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and the leg meat is no longer pink when cut into (about 160°F [70°C] internal temperature). Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Spice mixes such as this can add an exotic flair to your everyday cooking without much effort.

(From "The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors," Robert and Molly Krause, Fair Winds Press)

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Food and Drink
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