Za’atar Chicken with Garlicky Yogurt

Photo by Stephen Kent Johnson, Prop Styling by Kalen Kaminski, Food Styling by Rebecca Jurkevich

To make the most of your chicken, you have to make the most of your pan drippings. Here the garlic- and lemon-infused chicken fat is mixed with a citrusy za’atar and spooned over the fall-apart meat. Make sure the garlic halves are turned cut side down and in contact with the pan for gloriously caramelized cloves.

4 servings


    • 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 2 1/2 lb. total)
    • 2 medium red onions, cut into 1"-thick wedges
    • 2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise, plus 2 cloves
    • 1 lemon, quartered, seeds removed
    • Kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
    • 3 Tbsp. za’atar
    • 1 tsp. ground coriander
    • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
    • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest


    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Pat chicken legs dry with paper towels. Arrange chicken, onions, halved garlic heads, and lemon in a 13×9" baking dish; season liberally with salt (remember to season both sides of chicken). Pour in oil and toss everything to coat. Turn garlic cut side down and nestle it in so it is in contact with the baking dish. Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until meat is almost falling off the bone, 50–60 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, finely grate 1 garlic clove into a small bowl. Add yogurt, a big pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp. water and mix well. Set aside yogurt sauce.
    3. Remove baking dish from oven and transfer onions, garlic, and lemon to a plate. Increase oven temperature to 425°F and continue to roast chicken until skin is golden brown, 10–15 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Set aside pan with juices.
    4. Finely grate remaining garlic clove into another small bowl. Add za’atar, coriander, lemon zest, and lime zest. Pour reserved juices in pan into za’atar mixture until you’ve reached an oily consistency (about 1/3 cup). Mix in a pinch of salt.
    5. Spread reserved yogurt sauce over a platter and arrange chicken legs on top. Scatter onions, garlic, and lemon around; drizzle with za’atar oil.

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