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Za'atar Roast Chicken with a Parsley Pesto

Here is another recipe from the lockdown. I originally started working on this back in 2016 and I keep going back to it making a few tweaks each time. But the last few times a made this I did not change anything so it was time a shared the recipe. Also, you can add potatoes to the baking sheet when roasting the chicken as a nice side to the dish. - Enjoy



2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 cups Italian parsley leaves with tender stems

1/2 cup tahini

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt


One 3 1/2–4-pound chicken, cut into quarters

2 medium red onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed

1 tablespoon sumac

1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons za'atar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup pine nuts

4 heads of garlic, cut in half.


Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill. It is best to season after the pesto has sat for a few hours.

Toss chicken, onions, garlic, lemon, sumac, allspice, cinnamon, broth, and 1/4 cup oil in a large resealable plastic bag; season with salt and pepper. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pour contents of the bag onto the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with the Za'atar, add cut garlic heads and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until chicken is roasted through and the meat thermometer reads at least 165 degrees.

While the chicken is roasting, melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pine nuts and cook, often stirring, until butter foams, browns, and nuts are golden brown for about 4 minutes; season with salt. Transfer to a small bowl.

Arrange chicken on a plater with the roasted onions and garlic and serve with pesto and some nice crusty bread.

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