Lemon Chicken w/ Zaatar

from the book Falastin by:      SAMI TAMIMI AND TARA WIGLEY

3 lemons

1 whole chicken (2¾ lb), cut into legs, thighs, and breasts with the wing-tips left on (or about 2 lb 2 oz/1kg of chicken legs or breasts with the wing-tips left on), skin on, if you prefer

2 onions, sliced in half, then each half cut into 3 wedges (2¾ cups)

2 heads of garlic, skin on, sliced in half, crosswise

2 TSP sumac

¾ TSP ground allspice

4 TBSP za’atar

6 TBSP olive oil

¾ cup plus 2 tbsp chicken stock or water

Salt and black pepper

¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

 

  1. Cut 2 of the lemons into ¼-inch/6mm-thick slices and place in a large mixing bowl. Finely grate the zest of the remaining lemon (to get 1½ tsp of zest) and set this aside for later. Squeeze the same lemon to get about 1½ tbsp of juice and add this to the mixing bowl along with the chicken, onions, garlic, sumac, allspice, 2 tbsp of za’atar, 2 tbsp of oil, the stock, 1½ tsp of salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well to combine, then cover with a large plate and let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight, if you have time).

  2. Half an hour or an hour before baking, take the chicken out of the fridge; it should be at room temperature before going into the oven.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  4. Transfer the chicken to a large rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, and pour on all the marinade and lemon slices. Drizzle the chicken with 1 tbsp of oil and bake for about 45 minutes, giving everything a bit of a stir halfway through, until the chicken is golden and cooked through and the onions have taken on some color.

  5. Toward the end of the cooking time for the chicken, combine the parsley, lemon zest, remaining 2 tbsp of za’atar, and remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil in a bowl.

  6. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter along with the lemon slices and any juices that have collected at the bottom of the pan. Some people will love to eat the lemon slices and others won’t. Either way, serve them up with the chicken—they look great.

  7. Spoon the parsley mixture on the chicken, finish with the almonds, and serve.

I had a huge amount of Zaatar, so while searching for options on how to use it I found this  recipe in the great book Falastin, many other great recipes in that book.