Za'atar Chicken with Orange Couscous

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.

Easy! Enjoy.

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oui, Chef said… wife who is of Lebanese and Italian descent turned me onto zaatar a few years back, and I LOVE it in so many things. In fact, wait till you see my post tomorrow...great minds do think alike, you know. Love the orange couscous too, makes for a lovely dish all around.
Ciao Chow Linda said…
Stacey I bought some zatar when I was Ottolenghi's place this fall and still haven't used it. a lot of his recipes use it. then I discovered Williams Sonoma sells it - and sumac too. This looks like a perfect way to use some of my stash.
Claudia said…
I discovered za-atar from Taste of Beirut. Love that this is simple - flavorful and easy. Monday-Friday I am all about the ease. But it needs to taste good also!
Joanne said…
Mmm I just know that the citrus-y tones of the sumac would go so well with this couscous! Perfect combo.
Barbara said…
Hi Stacey,
The instructions say to add the WINE~
I don't see any wine listed in the ingredients ~ please edit the recipe.
Thanks kindly.
lisa is cooking said…
I love these flavors in the winter months. Really, all the time, but especially in winter. I want to run out and get some fresh za'atar and get cooking.
I see it but never buy it, sumac either. I need to expand my tastes!
Stacey snacks said…
Barbara I did not add wine to the recipe.
I adapted it and used 1 cup of chicken stock instead I don't always follow the recipe exactly thank you
Barbara said…
Your instructions say that you added wine, so now I'm totally confused as to why it's even mentioned in your instructions if you only used chicken stock. Am I missing something?
I will edit my copy and remove the wine ~ thanks for responding.
Stacey Snacks said…
Sorry for all the confusion.

The original recipe calls for wine and stock, I did not have white wine, so often I just use chicken stock.

I changed the ingredients list to 1/2 cup white wine, 1/2 cup of stock, if desired.

I find the use of wine in most recipes, especially when the recipe also calls for stock, doesn't really make a big difference in taste.

Hope this clarifies things, sorry for the confusion!