Za’atar Roast Chicken: A Middle Eastern Delight

October 1, 2023

When it comes to elevating the modest roast chicken, delve into the aromatic and flavorful realm of Middle Eastern cuisine. Za’atar, a cherished blend of herbs and spices, lends a taste and aroma dimension that metamorphoses a simple roast chicken into a culinary masterpiece. In this narrative, we’re embarking on a gastronomic voyage to create Za’atar Roast Chicken, where the tender flesh is steeped in the rich earthiness of the Za’atar seasoning. Prepare to delve into the irresistible charm of Middle Eastern flavors with Za’atar Roast Chicken, all from the cozy confines of your kitchen.


Roast Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken (about 4-5 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar spice blend
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced

Za’atar Spice Blend:

  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons ground sumac
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)


1. Prepare the Za’atar Spice Blend

  • Combine the dried thyme, dried oregano, ground sumac, sesame seeds, and salt in a bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly to create the za’atar spice blend. Adjust the salt to your taste preferences.

2. Preheat the Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 190°C.

3. Prepare the Chicken

  • Put the whole chicken in a sink full of cold water and give it a good scrub.
  • To make the Za’atar spice mixture, combine the following: olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper.
  • Combine the za’atar spice, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, chopped garlic, salt, and black pepper in a tiny bowl.

4. Infuse the Chicken

  • Raise the chicken’s skin carefully and rub the za’atar mixture under it, covering all the meat.
  • Rub any remaining za’atar mixture over the outside of the chicken, making sure it’s coated with the aromatic blend.

5. Roast the Chicken

  • Place the za’atar-infused chicken on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan.
  • Chicken should be roasted in a preheated oven for 1 to 1.5 hours to get a golden brown and crispy surface and an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

6. Rest and Serve

  • After 15 minutes of resting in the oven, the chicken is ready to be carved.
  • Carve the za’atar roast chicken into serving pieces and arrange them on a platter.

7. Garnish and Enjoy

  • Sprinkle some freshly chopped herbs on your roasted chicken with za’atar for added color and flavor.
  • Serve the succulent za’atar roast chicken as the centerpiece of your meal, accompanied by your favorite sides.

Za’atar Roast Chicken is a celebration of Middle Eastern flavors that transforms a simple roast into an extraordinary experience. The blend of za’atar, olive oil, and citrus infuses the tender meat with layers of taste and fragrance that transport your taste buds to far-off lands. Whether shared with loved ones on a special occasion or prepared as a comforting weeknight meal, this recipe invites you to explore the depth of flavors that za’atar brings to the table. Get your supplies together and prepare to be enchanted by the flavors of Middle Eastern cooking.

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