I’ve been having some issues blogging lately. You’ve probably noticed, given my struggle to post just once a week. There are many factors that have gone into this, including cooking becoming more of a chore or survival mechanism than a thing I enjoy (thanks to getting home later than ever/having very little time to make dinner after work during the week). By the time the food is cooked, the table is set, and the kids have washed their hands and been seated, taking pictures is the furthest thing from my mind. In fact, if I do it at all it’s done really quickly so I can sit down and actually start eating my own dinner before my 1.5 year old inevitably finishes his and starts pawing at me, asking for more, and leaving food-stained hand prints on my clothes.
This is all to say that I kinda sorta hate this picture, but I’m posting this recipe anyway. I wish my picture could do this meal justice, but I cannot get a good pic to save my life (yes, we’ve had this more than once, yes I’ve even made it on less-stressful weekend evenings). I feel it is my duty, however, to bring this meal to your attention because it’s so good.
And as if that tender, lightly spiced chicken weren’t enough, it’s covered in an herbacious tahini sauce, sprinkled with buttery pine nuts and served along sweet red onions.
Guys, Ian (19 months old) ate more than half a red onion himself. I do not understand my children.
We love this with a Greek salad – village or Americanized with lettuce and dressing – and pita. This takes some time to marinate and cook, but most of the time is hands-off so it makes a great weekend meal when you are busy with other things like making sure your kids do a good job raking or trying to figure out why you have 29 years on a kid but still can’t manage to win a game of Spot It against him.
Za’atar Roast Chicken with Green Tahini Sauce
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi via Bon Appetit/Epicurious.com
1 (3-4 lb.) chicken, quartered or 4 chicken leg quarters or 6-8 bone-in chicken thighs
2 medium red onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp. sumac*
1.5 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. za’atar (make your own or purchase*)
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup pine nuts
Pita or flatbread and green tahini sauce (recipe follows) for serving
Green Tahini Sauce:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water
Cut the lemon in half. Juice one half into a bag or large baking dish. Thinly slice both halves of the lemon. Toss the lemon slices, chicken broth, onions, garlic, sumac, allspice, cinnamon, oil, and salt and pepper together in the same resealable bag or large baking dish, along with the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425. Place the contents of the bowl/bag onto a large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Sprinkle with za’atar and roast until chicken is cooked through, 35-55 minutes depending on size/type of chicken pieces.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet and add the pine nuts, tossing until browned and toasty, about 4 minutes; season with salt.
While chicken is cooking, make the tahini sauce. Pulse together all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth (if necessary, add more water).
Serve chicken with onions and lemon slices, tahini sauce, pine nuts, and pita/lavash.
*You can purchase sumac and za’atar from The Spice House, my favorite spice store.