Za’atar Roast Chicken with Lemon and Red Onions

Thanksgiving is behind us and at least for me, Hanukkah is ahead. There is a quick turn around time this year with Hanukkah starting next Sunday, so I spent the weekend cleaning wax off of my heavily dripped upon menorahs. I think it has been years since I’ve done this and I did manage to get 8 of them fairly clean. No Zoe-I didn’t do all of them. I figured 8 is enough! From now on-thanks to my Illinois cousins-I will put aluminum foil at the base of each candle to avoid a waxy mess. Now why didn’t someone tell me this sooner?

Next year Hanukkah doesn’t begin until Christmas Eve so I know I will be more than ready. Hah! Who am I kidding? It always seems like a rush to be ready and my kids are both grown so what am I kvetching about? In either case, there is always one food that we will be eating on Hanukkah and that is latkes. I think it is the one time in my house where it is legal to fry. I could gorge on fried potato pancakes, but I always try to make a real meal, which must include more than fried foods-much to my regret!

You know that za’atar is one of my favorite seasonings so I must not let the year slip by without sharing this very simple roasted chicken. I made mine with just chicken breasts but one could easily use a spatchcocked chicken or a chicken divided into quarters. This is an easy marinade and bake. That way one can focus on frying the latkes! Sumac has a lemony, tart taste and does give the chicken a pink coloring. Combined with the red onions this chicken is very colorful.

This is another Ottolenghi special from his book, Ottolenghi. I am a fan and I know you know it. Maybe if someone reads this they will get me his latest cookbook! Hint…Hint…It is that time of year. I’d love to know your favorite cookbooks-old or new. Cookbooks are some of my favorite reads and just like one can never have too much jewelry; well for me the same can be said of cookbooks. I go often to the library to try out new ones, but then if I really like it I don’t want to give them back. I usually keep checking them out over and over until they won’t let me anymore. Yes. I’m that girl!

So on to the chicken. It’s a good one to have in your back pocket. The spices make it something unusual which is always fun to try when company’s coming. Give it a go. I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Za’atar Roast Chicken with Lemons and Red Onions
Serves 4 -6 (Depends on how you cut the chicken)
Time to Make: A few hours or overnight to marinate-About 20 minutes to prep-And 45-60 minutes to bake
1 4-5 lb chicken cut as desired
2 red onions thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 T olive oil
1 1/2 t ground allspice
1 t cinnamon
1 T sumac
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3/4 c water or chicken stock
1 1/2 t salt
1 t freshly ground pepper

2 T za’atar

To Garnish: (Optional)
Pine nuts sauteed in butter
Fresh chopped parsley
Drizzle of olive oil
More za’atar and sumac

In a large zip lock bag mix chicken with onions, garlic, olive oil, spices, lemon, stock, salt and pepper, (not the za’atar). Β Let marinate for a few hours or even overnight. Preheat oven to 400. Transfer the chicken and marinade to a baking sheet large enough to accommodate all of the chicken lying flat and spaced apart, skin side up. Sprinkle with za’atar and place in oven. Roast for 45-60 minutes, until the chicken is colored and cooked through.

Transfer the chicken and onions to a serving platter and finish with your chosen garnishes. I always sprinkle on more za’atar and sumac!

More to Try:

Savory Sweet Potato Latkes
Smoked Salmon with Caper Sauce and Dill
Roast Chicken with Saffron and Hazelnuts
Traditional Latkes
Parsnip Potato Latkes

Pin for the future:

You Might Also Like

  • Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    December 20, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    As you know, I just discovered Zaatar this Fall and I'm totally smitten. What wonderful flavors. You know I'll be making this chicken. And I made your carrot zaatar appetizer for Thanksgiving … the crowd went wild. πŸ™‚ Thanks for my favorite recipe find this year.

  • Lei Angeles
    December 14, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I will let my husband see this! Looks so good and delicious!

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    December 10, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I bought some za'atar a while back and still haven't cooked with it! This chicken dish looks like the perfect way to start, Abbe. Happy Hanukkah!

  • Daniela Grimburg
    December 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    All those gorgeous spices,just reading the ingredients list makes my mouth water!
    This is a must try.
    Hope you spend a wonderful Hanukkah!

  • Amy (Savory Moments)
    December 3, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    What a delicious looking meal! I hope you enjoy your Hanukkah!

  • ChgoJohn
    December 3, 2015 at 6:52 am

    I made a similar dish a couple of years ago, Abbe. The recipe came from a fellow blogger. It called for preserved lemons in place of fresh. I'd never used za'atar before that and loved the dish. I'm sure this dish is every bit as good, if not better, and so much more accessible being fresh lemon is used. I can't wait to give your dish a try. Thanks for sharing.
    Wishing you and your family a very Happy Hanukkah, Abbe.

  • Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    December 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    What a delicious looking festive chicken! have not heard of za'atar before, but looks and sounds droolicious. My husband would love this! Thanks for this awesome share! πŸ™‚

  • nicole branan
    December 2, 2015 at 1:42 am

    I love sumac on chicken, it's the most delicious flavor combination and this dish sounds again fantastic. (Speaking of, I did make your bagel bombs for Thanksgiving and they were a smasher!) Have to check out Ottolenghi's stuff, I don't know much about him at all. My favorite cookbook at the moment is Nordstrom Flavors. πŸ™‚

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      Sumac's lemony tart taste is awesome, isn't it? This is a great dish and so easy to make! So glad the bagel bombs turned out! I could use some more! I need to check this book out because I always love the Nordstrom's cafe. They do a great job!

  • Dawn Yucuis
    December 2, 2015 at 4:32 am

    This chicken looks really tasty. I have not heard of za'atar before. I need to look it up.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 2, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      Silly me to assume that everyone knows za'atar. It is a thyme sesame blend that is so good. You must try it Dawn!

  • Cathleen
    December 2, 2015 at 2:57 am

    This looks delicious! I am getting so hungry just looking at this!

  • Liz Berg
    December 2, 2015 at 12:18 am

    I've been meaning to buy and try za'atar since I realized I could buy it down the way at Penzey's. Roast chicken sounds like a delicious place to start!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 2, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Liz, I know you told me that last year! HaHa! Go get it. I think even Bill would like it!

  • beyondkimchee
    December 1, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I never tried Za'atar seasoing before and this dish got me very curious. Looks delcious with all the spices.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 2, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Za'atar is a thyme and sesame blend. Sometimes it may have salt or cumin in it, but I am not a huge fan of cumin. I love the unique and fresh taste of it. I buy mine at a Middle Eastern grocery, but it is starting to show up in some specialty stores. Love it. It is also great sprinkled on bread with olive oil. Check out my ma'aneesh recipe for bread. Yum!

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    December 1, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Abbe, I adore Ottolenghi's recipes and the spices he uses. I make a chicken dish similar to this too, love sumac and za' atar. It's funny because my kids are grown too and I feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to keep up.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 2, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      He has a lot of fans and I am one of them! You are totally describing how I feel! I love the order that kids brought to a house. I so miss it and them!

  • Karen Harris
    December 1, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Beautiful recipe. love me some baked chicken and you are a master with za'atar. i can just taste it.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 2, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Oh-you know I love my za'atar! Tell you the truth I need to make it again, because I took these photos last year! Can't you tell?

  • Angie Schneider
    December 1, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Ottolenghi never let me down. His recipes are keepers. The chicken looks so very tempting, Abbe.

  • Holly
    December 1, 2015 at 4:23 am

    I love cookbooks too and will have to check this one out that you've mentioned. Will your whole family be home for Hannukah? Or hopefully some of your family? It is hard when everyone is spread out around the world I am sure. Enjoy the special times ahead!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 2, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      Great cookbook, but I love all of his! Zoe will be home and Alex will fly home on the 29th. Just in time for him to ski before we jet to Costa Rica for a wedding. Can't wait! Thanks Holly!

  • Rebecca Subbiah
    December 1, 2015 at 3:37 am

    looks delicious happy Hannukah

  • Kitchen Riffs
    December 1, 2015 at 2:42 am

    I could make an entire meal out of latkes too. Or anything fried, for that matter. πŸ™‚ Although with this great chicken around, I'll bet the latkes might be a bit neglected. But just a bit. πŸ™‚

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 2, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      Well, latkes are always the star but this chicken doesn't take a back seat to anyone!