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Author Notes: This is the week when I try out made up chicken wings recipes from cuisines around the world. I recently made my first ever batch of za'atar, a middle eastern spice blend that commonly has dried mint, sumac and sesame seeds in. I swapped out the sesame seeds for almond meal and adjusted the flavours till I got the balance of fresh, slightly tart and definitely middle eastern I was after. The accompanying dip is one I've made many times - this time however, I made it in my mortar and pestle which results in a thicker, richer dip not watered down by the sharp blades of my blender. Served with arabic flat bread and veggies, it made a great dinner —Kitchen Butterfly
Serves 10 flats & drumettes
Za'atar wings with herbed yogurt dip
- ZA'ATAR MIX
- 5 teaspoons sumac
- 4 teaspoons almond meal, gently toasted or left raw
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ZA'ATAR WINGS
- 1/2 cup thick greek/turkish yogurt
- 2 teaspoons za'atar (and more to top)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder (or crushed seeds of 12 pods)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (nut) honey (I used a homemade hazelnut honey)
- 5 wings, mine were tipless (I cut into flats and drumettes, making 10 pieces)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- TO MAKE ZA'ATAR, combine the sumac, almond meal, dried mint and dried thyme in a spice grinder and blitz till finer. Store in an airtight jar or refrigerate.
- TO MAKE ZA'ATAR WINGS, combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl- yogurt, za'atar, garlic and onion powders, cardamom, salt, olive oil and honey. Whisk and check for salt, adjusting as necessary
- Gently poke the wings with the tip of a sharp knife, making little slits so the marinade can find nooks to hide itself.
- Put the chicken pieces into the marinade and toss well so that all pieces are coated. I prefer to use a long, shallow container because I can distribute the marinade evenly and ensure each piece is coated.
- Leave to marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, or overnight
- To cook, remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Place on a tray and roast/bake in the centre of a (pre-heated) oven at 250 degrees centigrade for 25 - 30 minutes until cooked. My pieces didn't darken considerably but I leave it up to you
- Sprinkle a touch of za' atar before serving, if you like. Enjoy regardless.
Herbed yogurt dip
- 50 g fresh coriander leaves, washed and roughly chopped
- 25 g fresh mint leaves, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, without skin
- 1 small green chili pepper, snipped with kitchen scissors
- 1 -2 teaspoons of caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and more to taste
- Enough natural yogurt (I used Turkish yogurt, similar to Greek yogurt) to form a thick dip
- In a mortar, combine all the ingredients except the yogurt. Pound till leaves darken and ingredients form a wet paste.
- Stir with a spoon/pound further to ensure no large lumps of chili remain. Then add the yogurt and combine well to your required thickness. Check for salt and sugar (yes, sugar) and adjust to your taste.
- Can be refrigerated for a couple of days
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Cardamom
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dip
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken Wings