I grew up enjoying Za’atar on almost anything including chicken. This baked za’atar chicken is a mouthwatering bite of flavors that are tangy. slightly sweet, and perfectly savory. The chicken is unbelievably juicy and quite literally falls off the bone. This is one of those dishes you prepare and forget about in the oven to only be greeted with the most aromatic moist chicken. The potatoes which are a lovely addition if you choose to do so soak up lots of flavors and get perfectly crispy. I highly recommend you toss them in there!
What is Za’atar?
There is a bit of confusion that circles around the word, za’atar. Many people aren’t aware that za’atar is an herb that grows in bountiful but also a seasoning blend. In the states, you don’t readily find fresh wild za’atar so fresh oregano which is the most similar is often used as a substitute in recipes that call for fresh za’atar. In this baked za’atar chicken, I use za’atar the seasoning which has dried oregano, thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. It is such a popular ingredient because there are layers of flavor and texture in za’atar that go well with many dishes.
You may be wondering what chicken is best to use here. While I use a quartered whole chicken and I find that to be best; you can use boneless chicken but it may require far less time. Bone-in meat always has more flavor and gets juicier so I highly recommend using that even if it isn’t quartered.
I have several za’atar forward recipes on my blog that I am sure you would love. Some entail using the seasoning blend like in this baked za’atar chicken and others will use fresh but can b substituted with oregano.
All of these would be amazing to try. If you do, please leave a comment or share your remakes with me on my Instagram!
Baked Za’atar Chicken
- 2lb Whole Chicken, cut into quarters roughly 2 lbs, it can be a little more or less in size. Pat chicken dry
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1/3 cup Za'atar seasoning reserve 2 tbsp to top the zaatar with before baking
- 1 tsp Sumac
- 1/2 Lemon's juice
- 1 tsp Pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp 7 spice seasoning
- 2 Potatoes, peeled & cubed optional addition
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Add the chicken & potatoes to a baking pan that has been sprayed with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Mix together the marinade ingredients which is olive oil, za'atar, sumac, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, honey, and 7 spice.
- Pour the marinade over the top making sure to cover the chicken very well even under the skin and on both sides.
- Sprinkle the chicken with more za'atar seasoning then cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 1hr 20 min covered. Uncover the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
- The chicken should be super tender and lightly browned as well as the potatoes. Enjoy with rice and salad on the side or warm pita. There are so many flavors in that pan that pita will scoop up!