Middle Eastern flavours continue to inspire passion on the palate. Zesty za'atar (za-ah-tar) is a very popular spice mix in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Turkey. Now widely available, it's a blend of toasted sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, marjoram and sumac, a tangy, lemony dried herb. In addition to being the main spice blend in our coating, you can sprinkle za'atar alone with EVOO on your favourite meats, fish, eggs, veggies and pastas. 

6-8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
10 whole garlic cloves peeled
2 tbsp EVOO
3 tbsp Za'atar spice

2 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp Kosher salt

For Sauce:
Sheet pan drippings plus scraped sticky bits

Sheet pan roasted garlic, mashed (from above)
3 tbsp Sicilian Lemon white balsamic
3 tbsp Lemon EVOO
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 450°. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, dried spices, sugar, salt and pepper. Pat dry chicken, then place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub all of the spice mixture onto the chicken, completely coating both sides. Arrange pieces skin-side up close together but not touching in a circular shape, leaving a space in the middle for the garlic cloves to roast. Roast for 35 minutes until an internal thermometer reaches 165°. Remove chicken and place on platter. 

For the sauce: On the sheet pan, mash the garlic cloves with a fork. Pour water onto the sheet pan and scrape off all the sticky bits combining with the garlic mash. Pour into a small bowl. Add oil, balsamic and parsley. Gently whisk to combine completely. 

Spoon sauce on chicken pieces. Serve with drizzles of Lemon or Garlic EVOO. Garnish with fresh parsley. 

Inspired by a Milk Street recipe