Is there anything that screams “weeknight dinner” quite like crispy roasted chicken thighs? They are on constant rotation in our house because they are cheap, fast, forgiving, and endlessly adaptable.
I’ve tried countless preparations and flavor combos over the years, but this Za’atar Roasted Chicken is far and away the winner. The flavor is bright and zesty thanks to an amped up za’atar paste, and the skin retains that crispiness, which, let’s be honest, is the only reason why we’re here.
Za’atar is a traditional herby Middle Eastern spice mixture (think thyme, oregano, sumac, and sesame). You can make your own, or find a pre-made spice mixture in a well-stocked market (I order mine here).
As is, za’atar is fragrant yet mild. Since I’m a flavor fiend, we are going to brighten up the mixture by adding chili flakes, lemon juice, and oil to form a sassier za’atar paste.
Simply slather the chicken thighs with the za’atar paste and roast on high heat for 30-40 min, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees F.
Serve with my cauliflower rice pilaf (recipe coming soon!) and top with juice from the charred lemon.
Looking for more easy weeknight chicken recipes? Check out some of my favorites:
- Cilantro and Onion Marinated Chicken
- Sambal Chicken Thighs
- Balsamic Brown Sugar Chicken
- Smoked Paprika and Lemon Roasted Chicken
- Peruvian Spiced Spatchcocked Chicken
Za’atar Roasted Chicken
Upgrade basic roasted chicken thighs with za’atar spice. Za’atar Roasted Chicken is an easy, flavorful weeknight dinner, full of bright and herby Middle Eastern flavors.
- 2 tbsp za’atar
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 3 lemons, 1 juiced and 2 cut in halves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs any chicken part will work, but cooking time may need to be adjusted
Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 450o F.
While oven is preheating, mix the za’atar, chili flakes, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil in a small bowl to form a paste.
Place the chicken thighs on a baking sheet, and slather each piece of chicken in the za’atar paste. You will want to make sure that you cover both sides, and get under the skin if you are comfortable. The spice mixture on top of the skin will get crispy in the oven, and the spice mixture under the skin will flavor the meat.
Place the remaining lemon halves on the baking sheet and bake the chicken for 25-40 minutes, or until the juices run clear and a thermometer registers 170o F.
Remove from the oven, and squeeze the hot lemony juice over top to serve.
Za’atar is often available at well-stocked grocery stores. For convenience, I buy za’atar online here.