if you don't have za'atar, or have never tried it, read here to find out what it is. there is a simple recipe for it included under "make your own" in the recipe. you can also find another one in zainab & meedo's great blog, arabic bites (thanks girls!).
additionally, if you don't like sweet flavours, you can leave out the honey altogether and increase the lemon.
honey za'atar chicken
an extremely flavourful dish, it can be made spicy by using hot paprika (or cayenne) or mild with regular paprika. served alongside rice and a salad, it makes for a nice meal.
serves 4 to 5 people
1 chicken*, cut into serving pieces (~8 pcs)
(hot) paprika** or cayenne pepper
onion and garlic powder
6 - 8 tbsp honey, more or less
*i prefer to leave the skin on for this one but you can make it without. the skin serves to add flavour and keep the meat from drying out too much.
**adding the hot paprika makes a big difference. if you want it non-spicy, then just use regular paprika.
preheat oven to 400F.
cut up chicken, clean it and dry with paper towels. either keep or remove skin (w/ skin tastes better).
in a glass pyrex (8 x 8), arrange the chicken pieces and squeeze the lemon over them. another option is that you can place the chicken in a ziploc and add the lemon juice in the morning or night before, leaving it in the fridge to bake after work around supper time.
now, in this order: salt and pepper each piece. then do the same with the onion powder and garlic powder. next, sprinkle the (hot) paprika over each chicken part and then finish with a good amount of za'atar. don't skimp on this part.
lastly, drizzle the honey (amount is up to you but about 1 tbsp/pc is recommended) over each piece of chicken. do not mix the chicken pieces now.
in a preheated 400F oven, without covering, bake the chicken for 12 minutes.
lower heat to 350F and bake uncovered for about 35 minutes or until browned.
remove the pieces of chicken to a serving plate (cover with foil) and place the sauce in a small pot and boil it down until it thickens. serve with the chicken.