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Grilled Za’atar Chicken with mashed potatoes

Welcome back to meat! I actually gave up my vegan experiment 10 days early, hindered by too many work bagels, donuts, pizza, and (most importantly) I REALLY wanted some cheese. To sum up the 21 days I was vegan, I would have to say that I like vegan meals, but really don’t have it in me to keep up the dietary restrictions 24-7. My goal is to continue cooking vegan meals, as well as cut down the excessive uses of dairy in cooking. For instance, I am continuing to add soy milk to my coffee and order soy lattes because they are tasty, but I WILL start baking with butter again.

ANYWAY. I’ve kept this recipe on hand for a month because it’s super tasty, but didn’t want to tempt myself while I wasn’t allowed to eat it. Za’atar is one of my favorite Arab spices that I was really happy to find a recipe that highlighted it in a great way. Look for it in middle eastern markets, or you can make your own.

Perfectly cooked inside…

Grilled Chicken with Za’atar
Bon Appetit
*I’ve reduced the recipe to serve 2, but double-up the recipe, using an entire 3-4 lb. bird, cut lengthwise with backbone removed

  • 1 head of garlic, top third cut off
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 bone-in chicken breast, skin on (both sides)
  • 1/8 cup Za’atar (click for recipe)
  • 3/4 t. lemon zest, 1.5 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 T. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 small Serrano chile, seeded, minced
  • 1 t. dried marjoram
  • salt/pepper
  1. THE NIGHT BEFORE: Preheat oven to 400°. Put garlic on a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon oil and wrap tightly with foil. Roast until tender and golden brown, 45-50 minutes. Let cool.
  2. THE NIGHT BEFORE: In a large bowl, sprinkle 1.25  tablespoons za’atar over chicken. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of skins and into a small bowl; mash into a paste with the back of a fork. Add 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, chile, and marjoram; whisk to blend. Pour over chicken; turn to coat. Cover; chill overnight.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile, build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Brush grill rack with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
  4. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is crisp and browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of thigh without touching bone reads 160°, about 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon za’atar, and let rest 10 minutes.

The best part of this recipe is how delicious the blackened outside can get, yet how tender and juicy the inside remains.