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Author Notes: I never cooked with za'atar before meeting my husband, who is Arabic. Clearly, I was missing out for many years. Za'atar is a blend of spices (with thyme being the main ingredient) and can be used in anything from meats to flatbreads or veggies. The flavor is unique and hard to describe, and since it is increasing in popularity, becoming easier to find in grocery stores. I wanted to make a dish that was Middle Eastern-influenced and really highlighted the za'atar. I also wanted to use the grill since the weather is finally beautiful out. This dish was inspired by Ottolenghi's Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar, and Lemon from the Ottolenghi Cookbook. My husband proclaimed this dish "felt like something that would be served in a restaurant, at home." Hope you enjoy! —MariaR
Food52 Review: WHO: Maria Rivera is a brand-new Food52 community member (and a pediatrician!). She lives in D.C.
WHAT: Chicken wings with all the thyme (well, za'atar) in the world.
HOW: Marinate chicken wings overnight in a Middle Eastern-inspired spice blend. Coat with za'atar, grill, and serve sprinkled with *more* za'atar and a creamy fava-feta dip.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Yes, you have to marinate these wings overnight—but they are indeed all the better for it, and afterwards, need only a quick spell on the grill. Paired with the fava-feta dip, they're our new favorite way to make wings: totally unexpected, perfectly matched with the dip, and a little bit spicy. And, might we add, a welcome, refreshing, herby departure from sticky-sweet wings. —The Editors
Serves 2 as entrée, 4 as appetizer
- 1 tablespoon sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 24 pieces chicken wings, both drumsticks and wings
- 4 tablespoons za'atar
- In a large bowl, make the marinade by mixing the spices (with the exception of the za'atar), water, red onions, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice together.
- Add the chicken wings, coat in the marinade, and let sit in the marinade in the refrigerator for at least overnight. We left it marinating for 24 hours and are convinced that was even better.
- Heat the grill to 400° F.
- Drain the marinade. Add 3 tablespoons of za'atar and mix together until wings are coated (add more as needed to coast the wings).
- Grill the wings for about 25 minutes, flipping over once or twice halfway. Once cooked, remove from the heat, sprinkle with another tablespoon of za'atar.
- Enjoy with dip outlined below!
Fava Bean Feta Dip
- 1 1/2 cups frozen fava beans (with shell, or 1/2 cup shelled)
- 1 cup labneh (can sub for full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream)
- 3 ounces feta (I used goat feta, can use normal feta also)
- Juice of half of a lemon
- If they still have the shell, boil the fava beans for 8 to 10 minutes until soft. Then shell and throw out the shells. If already shelled, then can boil for only 4 minutes. Drain.
- Blend the boiled fava beans, labneh, feta, and juice of half of a lemon using a blender or food processor until smooth. Store any extras in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Your Best Spring Chicken Contest Winner!