Za'atar Chicken And Lemon-Parsley Salad
A big-flavored and easy-to-make recipe from Christopher Kimball's new book, Milk Street: The New Home Cooking.
- Total Cooking Time: Start to finish: 30 minutes.
- Servings: 4.
This recipe is from Christopher Kimball's Milk Street, The New Home Cooking, who provided this introduction:
"Our search for ways to spice up weeknight chicken took us to the Middle East where za'atar is a popular seasoning blend that often includes sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram and salt. We were influenced by Ana Sortun, who often uses za'atar at her Oleana restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She calls za'atar 'craveable' and jokes, 'I can imagine it as the next Doritos flavor.' Her recipe for crispy lemon chicken with za'atar calls for making a lemon confit and stuffing it under the skin of whole halves of deboned chicken along with cubes of butter. We took a simpler tack and coated chicken cutlets in a our-za'atar mixture. We also used lemon zest and juice in our sauce along with tart and smoky Aleppo pepper, which has a fruity, moderate heat. If you can't find Aleppo pepper, a few pinches of paprika and cayenne make a good substitute."
Don't substitute chicken breasts here without pounding the meat first. Boneless, skinless chicken cutlets were ideal for fast cooking and are widely available at grocers. If you have only chicken breasts, use a meat mallet or heavy skillet to flatten them to an even 1⁄4 inch.
A note from The City Cook: When I first made this recipe I only had boneless chicken thighs on hand, but I found that they were a delicious substitute for the chicken breasts. Just prepare and cook them in the same way.
- 11⁄2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (4 cutlets), pounded to 1⁄4-inch thickness
- Kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup plus 1 teaspoon za’atar, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3⁄4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 3⁄4 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on a bias
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
- Season the chicken all over with salt. In a wide, shallow dish, combine 1⁄4 cup of the za’atar, the flour and pepper. In a 12-inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmer ing. One cutlet at a time, transfer the chicken to the za'atar mixture, coating and pressing onto all sides. Add the cutlets to the pan and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the parsley, scallions, lemon zest and juice, the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and a pinch of salt. Drizzle the molasses evenly over the chicken, then mound the greens over the cutlets. Sprinkle with walnuts and the remaining za’atar.
From Christopher Kimball's Milk Street, The New Home Cooking. Little, Brown and Company, © 2017. Reprinted with permission.