Za’atar Roasted Chicken Breast Recipe…an easy one-skillet chicken dinner that will have your taste buds going crazy (in a good way)!
When I posted my recipe for cilantro-lime chicken thighs (another awesome chicken dinner, by the way), a reader wrote to me about her big dilemma involving her husband eating only chicken breast. Well friend, today is your day! But another dilemma that more of us deal with is that roasted chicken breasts are tricky to cook because they often end up on the dry side.
I’ve been experimenting with cooking chicken breasts for a little while now, and I can honestly say, this is one of the best roasted chicken breast recipes you will find. This recipe, adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, is a spin off a chicken dinner from my childhood. The citrus-based marinade with all sorts of Eastern Mediterranean spices is the key to this recipe’s success. It acts as a tenderizer to the chicken breasts, meanwhile, infusing them with awesome flavor.
You are probably more familiar with allspice, sumac and other spices used here. But don’t let the za’atar scare you. It is an amazing Middle Eastern spice blend that has both earthy and subtle citrus undertones. It often includes spices like marjoram or thyme, oregano, sumac, cumin, and cinnamon. And it always includes sesame seeds, which add a nice nutty and woodsy flavor to the spice mix.
Want to mix your own Za’atar spice? There are a variety of recipes out there, including this simple za’atar mix recipe from Bon Appetit.
We all love a roast chicken dinner. After all, it’s quick prep and you can let the oven do the hard work! You will not regret spicing up your roasted chicken breasts this way, though. What to serve it with? Here are a few ideas: simple chopped Mediterranean salad, Frisee and spinach salad, Israeli couscous salad, or roasted Greek potatoes.
Step-by-step instructions for this Roasted Chicken Breast Recipe
In a mixing bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Place the chicken in a deep dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with the marinade. To ensure good flavor, work some of the marinade underneath the skin of the chicken breasts. Cover and place the chicken in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Transfer the chicken breasts and the marinade to a baking dish or a cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with a little more sumac and paprika. Now sprinkle 1 tbsp of the za’atar, and take another tbsp of za’atar to work underneath the skin of chicken breasts. You should have 1 tbsp za’atar left for later.
Place the chicken in the 400 degrees F heated-oven; roast for 40-45 mins.
Remove from heat, and sprinkle with a little more sumac and the remaining za’atar. Garnish with the toasted nuts and fresh parsley. Enjoy!
*Recipe inspired by my mom and Ottolenghi:The Cookbook.
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