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Friday, 11 December 2015

Zaatar Marinated Chicken

Zaatar Chicken is a very simple dish packed with flavour. It is one of those concoctions that you can prepare quickly yet please every single one of your family members. This is a dish that is very old and traditional in Palestinian cuisine. Seasoning food with Zaatar is very common in Palestinian cuisine especially in the kitchens of Bethlehem and its nearing villages such as Beit Jala and Beit Sahoor. It is believed to have originated there and moved from there to Jerusalem, where seasoning with zaatar became also very wide-spread.

The shifting of people from their villages and cities in 1948 and 1967 to eventually settle in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan had carried with them these foods making them popular in their eventual destinations. Ever since then, varieties of Zaatar chicken had become common throughout the Levant, but this remains the traditional recipe as it was first prepared in Bethlehem.

While the original recipe fries the potatoes in one version, and bakes the potatoes raw with the chicken in the second version, I personally season the potatoes with zaatar to pack more of that flavour into them, then roast them separately. I then add them to the finished roasted chicken as I find this to be a more flavoursome option. This way the texture of the potatoes remains crunchy instead of the mushy baked ones, and less drenched with oil as is the case of the fried potatoes. Try it this way and see how you guys are going to really love it.

Zaatar Chicken
Ingredients (4 servings)
For Zaatar Marinated Chicken
1 whole chicken cut into 4 pieces, washed and rubbed with lemon wedges
1/4 cup DS Limited Edition Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tbsp Reduced sour pomegranate juice or 2 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp DS Organic Dried Zaatar Mix
Salt & Black pepper to taste

For Zaatar Flavoured roasted potatoes
4 medium potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
1/4 cup DS Limited Edition Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp DS Organic Dried Zaatar Mix
Salt & Black pepper to taste

Mix all the marinade ingredients together then coat the chicken pieces with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

When ready to cook, place the chicken pieces and the marinade in a baking dish and bake covered for 45 minutes, uncover and roast for 15 minutes to brown.

In the meantime, mix together the olive oil, zaatar mix and seasoning and coat the potato wedges with the mixture. Place in a single layer over a baking sheet and roast until golden and crisp (45 minutes to 1 hour).

When ready to serve, mix together the potatoes and chicken pieces and serve hot with a side of salad and a variety of pickles. Green olives, turnip pickles and cucumber pickles pair very well here.

Enjoy with your loved ones as I do with mine :)
Find out more about DS Mooneh products on this link
Read more about DS Organic Zaatar Mix and the cause it supports on this link