12 hours ago
Monday, February 20, 2012
I had never heard of za'atar before until a friend brought me back a jar from Israel.
Za'atar is a dried herb blend that is most commonly mixed w/ olive oil and used as a dip for pita or bread. It is popular in Greek and Lebanese as well as Israeli cooking.
The herbs used to create the mixture are a combination of sumac, sesame seeds and oregano or thyme w/ a little salt mixed in. The Middle Eastern brands are the most authentic.
I finally used it in this nice easy weeknight chicken recipe over a delicious couscous with oranges and cilantro.
Za'atar Chicken w/ Orange Couscous (adapted from Taste.Au)
3 tbsp Za'atar spice
4 skinless boneless chicken breast fillets
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken stock (or 1/2 cup white wine and 1/2 cup stock)
1 1/2 cups (270g) couscous
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 oranges, peeled, segmented, juice reserved (I used clementines)
1/2 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Rub the zaatar all over the chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep fry pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes each side until golden. Transfer to a roasting pan and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Wipe the fry pan with paper towel, then heat over medium-high heat. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute, then add the stock. Bring to the boil, add the couscous, remove from heat, cover and stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the pine nuts, orange segments and coriander leaves.
Whisk the remaining olive oil and reserved orange juice in a small bowl with cumin. Add to the couscous and gently combine.
Slice the chicken breasts and serve on top of the couscous.