Zaatar and Garlic Roast Chicken

zaatar roast chicken

My friend spent the Eid weekend in Dubai. I asked her to bring me some zaatar since I’ve never cooked with it. The only times I’ve had it is at restaurants. Take my word, you’d want to ask family and friends who’re in the middle east to bring you back some zaatar. Zaatar is basically a mix of herbs, mainly oregano and thyme. This weekend I put it in my breakfast eggs and then went on to roasting some chicken with it.

zaatar roast chicken

All I did was pound lots of garlic and half a chilli in my mortar and pestle. Then seared it in a pan before generously coating it with the zaatar and popped it into the oven to cook. It was so good, I can’t wait to make it again!

zaatar roast chicken


3 servings

Prep time:

5 mins

Cooking time:

30-40 mins


Chicken – 3 whole legs, each cut into 2 pieces

Garlic – 6-7 cloves

Green chilli – 1/2 or a full one if you want a little heat

Zaatar – 2 tbsp

Oil – 1 tbsp

Pan roasted cherry tomatoes – 5-6

Parsley – few springs chopped

Salt to taste


Crush the garlic and chilli in a mortar and pestle or roughly grind them in your blender. You want the rough bits of garlic in there.

Spread this on the chicken properly.

At this point preheat your oven at 180 degrees.

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan and add the chicken pieces. Let them stay on one side for about 2 mins before flipping them over. Take them off the heat and into a baking tray/pan. Save the burnt garlic bits for later.

Now generously coat the pieces with zaatar and salt to taste.

Pop this into your preheated oven and let it cook at 190 degrees for 30 mins. Do check if they’re all cooked.

Once cooked, serve them with some pan roasted cherry tomatoes and garnish with parsley. Also, toss the burnt garlic bits in there.

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