Za'atar Roast Chicken with Pilaf, Pomegranate and Nuts

Posted on May 22 2017

Za’atar roast chicken with pilaf, pomegranate and nuts

40gm pistachio nuts

40gm pine nuts

6-8 organic chicken drumsticks 

2 onions, thickly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½ pomegranate, arils removed

½ cup of coriander finely chopped and plain yogurt (to serve)

Za’atar

1 ½ tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 ½ tbsp dried oregano leaves

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

2 tsp sumac

Pilaf

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cinnamon quills

2 cardamom pods, bruised

2 fresh bay leaves

40gm butter, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

400gm (2 cups) basmati or long-grain rice, rinsed under cold water

700ml chicken stock

Finely grated find of ½ lemon

 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180C. Roast pistachios and pine nuts on a baking tray until golden (8-12 minutes). Set aside to cool.

 

For za’atar, pound herbs with a mortar and pestle until coarsely crushed, then add sesame seeds and sumac, and pound until finely ground.

 

Pat dry chicken drumsticks with paper towels and place in a roasting pan on top of onions. Rub chicken all over with oil, garlic and za’atar, then roast, basting occasionally, until cooked through and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer (40 minutes). Increase oven to 250C and roast, basting occasionally, until golden brown (5 minutes). Season to taste with lemon juice and salt and pepper, and rest for 5 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, for pilaf, sauté onions, spices and bay leaves in butter and oil in a casserole over medium heat until onion starts to caramelise (7-8 minutes). Add rice and stir to coat, then add stock, season to taste and bring to a simmer. Cover, then bake until rice is cooked (15 minutes). Stir in lemon rind, cover with a tea towel and leave to steam for 5-6 minutes.

 

Place rice on a platter, chop chicken into pieces, arrange on pilaf, top with pistachios and pine nuts, pomegranate, coriander and pan juices, and serve with lemon wedges and yoghurt.

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