Za’atar Chicken

Zaatar Chicken

This is a delicious chicken recipe. Quick, easy, and adaptable to every part of my favorite bird.

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern dried herb blend that is moistened with olive oil. Zaatar actually means “thyme” in Arabic and refers to wild thyme that grows all over the Middle East.

This wonderful mix of aromatic herbs and spices is really flavorful and versatile.  Add za’atar to olive oil and dunk some bread for an aromatic opening to any meal. Combine a teaspoon of za’atar, some crushed garlic, and a cup of Greek yogurt for an instant veggie dip.

A hot pan with a splash of olive oil, cooked chickpeas, za’atar, salt, and a few minutes of cooking time will produce a tasty snack or a side dish. Carrots, roasted with olive oil, za’atar, salt, and a touch of honey, will make you sing with culinary joy. This fragrant spice blend will also work with any protein, including fish.

zaatar mix

My prepared za’atar mix contains dried thyme, marjoram, ground cumin, ground coriander, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds. Simply combine equal parts of these tasty herbs and spices to make your own. Add dried oregano or red pepper flakes to produce a custom blend.

To this chicken recipe, I also add Kosher salt, pepper, smoked Spanish paprika, chili powder, cinnamon, and a bit of raw sugar for a wonderful earthy flavor.

What to serve with this dish? Try Eggplant Sauté or Aromatic Brown Rice.

Zaatar Chicken

Za’atar Chicken

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings 6 people


  • 8 Chicken drumsticks about 2 pounds
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Za'atar spice
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp Raw sugar
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon


  • Wash and dry chicken drumsticks.
  • Place chicken in a deep dish and cover it all over with olive oil.
  • In a small bowl combine 2 table spoons of Za'atar, salt, sugar, and the rest of spices.
  • Add spice mix to chicken. Combine to make sure that every drumstick is fully covered.
  • Refrigerate chicken for two hours or overnight. If in a hurry, roast right away.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Transfer chicken onto a roasting pan.
  • Place chicken into a preheated oven for about 40 minutes.
  • Once chicken is done, remove from oven and transfer it to a serving dish.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining table spoon of Za'atar and serve.
Keyword Chicken, cumin, Drumsticks, spicy, za’atar

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