We had friends over for din on the other day & we served this amazing chicken dish. It’s so flavorful and the chicken is really tender & juicy. Have you tried za’atar? It varies greatly depending on where you are in the Middle East and every family has their own secret blend. It is generally a combination of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac and toasted sesame seeds. Za’atar may also contain salt, dried orange zest, dried dill, or the wild herb za’atar (also called hyssop, which also grows throughout the Levant & is the mixture’s namesake). This spice mix is tangy, rich & nutty, and is a must have in every kitchen! You’re going to love this chicken!
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 4-6 slices of lemon (one for each piece of chicken)
- 4-5 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 medium red onion, halved & sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 TBS sumac
- 1 TBS za’atar
- 1 TBS cinnamon
- 1 TBS paprika
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- Prep for roasting:
- Sea salt & pepper
- 1 TBS za’atar
- Garnish: Chopped parsley
- Preheat oven or outdoor smoker to 400°. Prepare either an iron skillet or baking sheet with cooking spray. When using a baking sheet I cover it with foil and parchment paper.
- Place all the marinade ingredients in a large zip lock bag and mix. Add chicken and shake to coat the chicken thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Transfer the chicken and all the marinade onto your cooking sheet or skillet. Evenly distribute the onions. Place a lemon slice on top of each breast. Sprinkle with more za’atar, sea salt & pepper.
- Bake the chicken until the internal temp is 165°.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.
This dish is flavorful and so easy to make. Just a few steps and you’ll be enjoying this yumminess in no time. I served mine with jasmine rice and blanched broccoli.
Enjoy in a few easy steps!
- 4 chicken breasts cut into bit size pieces
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Sea salt & pepper, to taste
- Olive oil for cooking
- Sweet & Sour Sauce:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
- 1 TBS sesame oil
- 1 TBS light brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 2 TBS cornstarch
- Garnish: Sesame seeds & sliced green onions
- Add chicken, cornstarch and sea salt & pepper to a zip lock bag. Shake until chicken is thoroughly coated.
- Heat oil ice oil in a large skillet. Add prepared chicken and brown. Do not overcrowd the chicken. Brown in batches and set aside on paper towel lined plate. You may need to add additional oil as you go along.
- For the sauce, add all ingredients except cornstarch and water. Bring to a low boil.
- Whisk water & cornstarch and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Put all of your chicken in the skillet and pour on the thickened sauce,
- Serve sweet & sour chicken over jasmine rice. Top with sesame seeds and green onions.
This post is dedicated to all the fabulous food of black origin. Bernice “Lady Bug” Barnes is my daughter’s boyfriend’s mom. Marcus is from North Carolina and his family makes some of the most scrumptious looking dishes I have ever seen. The Barnes family has a huge family reunion each September, where many of these dishes are shared. I asked Marcus what I should make to celebrate the food he grew up with and he said it had to be Chicken Pastry. His mom usually makes this with turkey, but she explained chicken was fine, too. This is her recipe.
Chicken Pastry by Mrs. Barnes
Original recipe from Bernice “Lady Bug” Barnes as told to my daughter, Destiny. Some adjustments were made for my ease of preparation. Mrs. Barnes usually makes this with turkey & she uses self rising flour. Her daughter said she uses all purpose flour, so that’s what I used.
- 1 chicken, cut up (I used 3 chicken breasts & 3 chicken thighs)
- Salt & Pepper (I used very fine pepper)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup reserved broth
- Chicken bouillon granules or base
- Butter to prepare a thickening slurry (2 TBS melted butter & 1/4 cup flour combined until smooth. Then add 1/4 cup broth & mix well)
- Parsley & fresh cracked pepper for garnish
- Place chicken in a large pot & cover with water. Make sure there is at least 3-4 inches of water above the chicken. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low boil, cover & cook the chicken for about 30-45 minutes.
- Remove cooked chicken and place it on a pan to cool. Turn off the heat to the broth.
- At this point, I strain my broth and return it to the pot. Reserve 1 cup of chicken broth & set aside.
- While the chicken is cooling, sift the flour with a tsp of salt into a large bowl.
- Wearing culinary gloves, make a well in the flour. Pour in a half cup of your reserved chicken broth and begin mixing by hand.
- Continue to add small amounts of broth until a sticky dough is formed. There will be some lumps.
- Form the dough into a ball & place on a floured surface.
- Cover the dough ball with wax paper & roll out to a 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Cut into strips and then cut across to make small rectangles.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Debone your chicken and shred into small pieces. Return the bones & skin to your pot of broth and bring to a simmer. Add 1 TBS of chicken base & 1 TBS of fine pepper. Taste to see if you need to add any salt. If it is too salty, you can add a bit of water. Cover and simmer on very low for 30 more minutes. By then your pastry is ready to remove from the refrigerator. Before you get it out, remove all the bones and skin from the broth with a strainer.
- Return the broth to a low rolling boil.
- Start adding 3-4 pastry pieces at a time to the boiling broth. Continue adding the pastry a bit at a time. Once all the pastry is added, put the shredded chicken in. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- If after a few minutes, the broth is still too thin add the slurry described above.
- Simmer on low for 45 minutes or longer, depending on how tender you like your pastry.
- Serve with fresh cracked pepper & a sprinkle of parsley.
This recipe has been a family favorite for years. I first found it in my 1989 Southern Living Annual Cookbook. I’ve made a few tweaks over the years for ease of preparation. This chicken is flavorful, rich and impressive. I served it with Mustard Roasted Potatoes and a simple salad. You will love this recipe!
Original recipe from Southern Living 1989 Annual Recipes. I have made changes to the original recipe for ease of preparation.
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2 cups flour
- 1 heaping cup of pecans
- 1/8 cup sesame seeds
- 1 TBS smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 8 chicken breasts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter on large baking sheet as oven comes to 350 degrees. Once melted, remove from oven and set aside.
- While butter is melting, combine flour, pecans, sesame seeds, paprika and salt & pepper in a food processor. Pulse until pecans are finely chopped. Place mixture on a large plate.
- In a large bowl, mix the egg and buttermilk.
- Dip chicken in egg mixture and then dredge in flour mixture. Place each one, breast side down, on the baking sheet (in the butter) and turn once to coat with butter. You want the pretty side of the breast facing up.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.
Remember the Shawarma White Sauce I posted about the other day… Well, here is the chicken they made on the Today Show to go with that sauce. It was shared by Ayesha Nurdjaja, the executive chef of Shuka in NYC. This chicken has an incredible flavor and was very easy to prepare. We really enjoyed eating this chicken in butter lettuce leaves. Yum!
This was adapted from the original recipe shared by Ayesha Nurdjaja, the executive chef of Shuka in New York, on the Today Show.
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 TBS turmeric
- 1 TBS cinnamon
- 1 TBS freshly ground black pepper
- 1 TBS cumin
- 1 TBS smoked spicy paprika
- 10 – 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 medium white onions, sliced
- To Serve:
- Bibb lettuce leaves
- Sliced red cabbage
- Cilantro, parsley and mint
- Harissa sauce
- Add garlic to a blender with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and process until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice & spices. Whisk to combine well.
- Add chicken and onions to the bowl and mix until covered well with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours or up to 48.
- Preheat oven 425°F.
- Place chicken on a foiled & parchment paper lined baking tray (do not overcrowd the tray; use two if needed). Place in oven for 30-40 minutes and cook until chicken is cooked through & edges are crispy.
Chicken on a Stick is a Fiesta phenomena! Every year, during the 4-day run of A Night In Old San Antonio this booth sells 30,000-40,000 of these skewers. Can you say long lines??? My version is oven-baked, instead of fried, & it’s hubs approved. You know…it’s one of those dishes where is says “this is good” over & over! Oh, & no lines w/my version! Viva Fiesta!
- 8 chicken thighs
- 2 cups flour
- Sea salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 package panko bread crumbs
- Avocado oil spray
- Wooden skewers & foil
- Fresh jalapeños
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and parchment paper.
- Mix flour, salt and pepper in shallow container. Set aside.
- Mix egg and milk in a shallow container. Set aside.
- Place panko crumbs in a shallow dish.
- Insert a skewer in each chicken thigh.
- Dredge the chicken thighs in the flour mixture, followed by dipping the thighs in the milk & egg mixture, and end by dredging in the panko. Place the prepared thighs on the parchment paper. Spray both sides of each thigh with avocado oil.
- Wrap each skewer with a bit of foil so they do not burn while baking.
- Bake for 20 minutes and turn the thighs. Return to the over for another 15-20 minutes.
- While the thighs are baking, grill the jalapeños to get a few grill marks. Insert a jalapeño on the skewer of each chicken thigh.
This one pan dish is awwwwwwsome! It is outstanding for meal prep or for a large family meal. Now, forgive me ahead of time… I’m using one of my fav foil pans. I just can’t stop! Anyway, this dish is best served in a bowl and devoured while cozied up in a comfy chair. And it’s pretty darn healthy. What are you waiting for ~ get busy and make this!
Chick Peas, Rice & Chicken
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 cups rice (I used Texmati White Rice)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into small strips
- 1/2 onion, sliced into strips
- 10-12 deboned chicken thighs
- 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup Cookwell & Company Green Chile Stew mix (I get this at my local grocer, HEB. It can be ordered online.)
- 1 (15 oz) can of chick peas, drained
- Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and Cracked Pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large pan. I use a large steam table pan (20.75L x 13W x 5.75H)
- Drizzle olive oil on bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle rice evenly on top, followed by the bell pepper and onion.
- Place the chicken thighs on top and then pour chicken broth over, evenly.
- Spoon green chile mix between the chicken thighs. Do the same with the chick peas.
- Season the chicken with the salt and pepper.
- Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil, increase oven to 400 degrees & cook an additional 15 minutes (to brown top of chicken).