Za'atar Grilled Chicken Wings with Fava Bean Feta Dip

May 30, 2016
10 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 2 as entrée, 4 as appetizer
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • Chicken Wings
  • 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
  • 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
  1. Chicken Wings
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Heat the grill to 400° F.
  5. Drain the marinade. Add 3 tablespoons of za'atar and mix together until wings are coated (add more as needed to coast the wings).
  6. 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.
  7. Enjoy with dip outlined below!
  1. Fava Bean Feta Dip
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
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15 Reviews

eatchimac March 30, 2021
Oh, I didn’t try Za'atar Grilled Chicken Wings with Fava Bean Feta Dip Recipe. Now I can make it at home. So glad for sharing this recipe Now I can make it at home. It looks delicious. Now I can share your blog with my friend circle. I am so glad after seeing your recipe, Thanks for sharing this recipe. Food is one of the biggest topics of conversation online and offline. Keep it up, I am waiting for your next recipe!
DaniMama October 22, 2020
Pure perfection!! This is the 5th time I’m
making this for the family. I used edamame the first time for the dip, but I don’t quite recommend that. :)
Cathyarshadi August 17, 2016
This was fantastic! Flavors were awesome and grilling the wings is a brilliant idea. What a great way to blend sumac and za'atar with a backyard grill. Very flavorful and delicious! I made the sauce with Greek yogurt and fava beans the first time I made it but substituted lima beans the second time which worked just fine and was equally delicious. I will make this over and over again which says a lot!
Julie July 6, 2016
Had a question, after draining do you add the zatar to the drained marinade and then rub on the chicken or add the zatar directly to the chicken discarding the marinade?
Shortrib June 29, 2016
Nice! This is really something different: the fragrant marinade, the za'atar and the earthy dip. I used chicken legs and served it with a chopped Turkish tomato salad and Pita. Delicious and original!
MariaR June 29, 2016
Glad you liked it!!
susan G. June 18, 2016
For favas - I have some canned (imports from the Middle East), and dried cracked beans (from a Middle East market). Do you think the dried could be used for the dip?
All elements of this recipe are so appealing! I'm ruminating on a vegetarian adaptation.
MariaR June 20, 2016
Hi Susan, not sure that would work. We love canned and dried favas and use those for other dishes but they have a different flavor than the fresh ones. You could always try and report back! Would love to hear about a vegetarian adaptation as well :)
Asha L. June 17, 2016
Congrats on being a finalist! The recipe looks great, can't wait to try.
MariaR June 17, 2016
Thanks Asha!
ParkerNolita June 17, 2016
It does. But my question is, where do you find frozen fava beans? I have looked everywhere from Whole Foods to Fairways and haven't found them.
sexyLAMBCHOPx June 17, 2016
Try Trader Joes. I've seen them at Whole Foods and my regular supermarket Stop n Shop
MariaR June 17, 2016
We usually find them at Trader Joes! Have seen them a few times at Whole Foods, and they have them in Middle Eastern supermarkets. We also found them fresh at Whole Foods last week and they are in the farmers markets around us right now. We've found that you can really only find them when they're in season in the spring. Hope you find them!
sexyLAMBCHOPx June 4, 2016
This recipe looks wonderful!
MariaR June 17, 2016