Saturday 27 December 2014

Recipe of the day: Za’atar Chicken Drumsticks with Shaved Fennel Salad

Donal Skehan

Published 06/07/2014 | 02:30

Za’atar Chicken Drumsticks with Shaved Fennel Salad Za’atar Chicken Drumsticks with Shaved Fennel Salad
Za’atar Chicken Drumsticks with Shaved Fennel Salad

Za'atar is a heady Middle Eastern spice mixture of toasted sesame seeds, oregano, cumin and sumac (which adds a wonderful unusual citrus flavour).

It can be used sprinkled on flat breads hot from the oven brushed with olive oil, over poached eggs with lentils or as a punch of flavour to grilled meats. For a simple summer supper I like to roast or BBQ chicken drumsticks and thighs and roll the hot meat in the dry rub and serve it alongside a simple shaved fennel salad with toasted pine nuts. It results in really electric bursts of flavour and textures.

Ingredients

Serves 4

12 chicken drumsticks

Juice and zest of one lemon

3 tbsp of olive oil

Sea salt and ground black pepper

3 cloves of garlic, finely grated

For the Za'atar

2 tbsp of sesame seeds

4 tsp of cumin seeds

4 tsp of ground sumac

1 tsp of sea salt

A generous handful of oregano leaves, chopped

For the salad

2 heads of fennel, shaved on a mandolin

50g of pine nuts, toasted

For the dressing

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Sea salt and ground black pepper

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Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

To make the za'atar, toast the sesame and cumin seeds in a dry pan over a medium high heat for about 2 minutes until the sesame seeds turn golden brown. Place the toasted seeds in a pestle and mortar along with the ground sumac, salt and oregano leaves. Grind to a rough powder.

Place chicken in a roasting dish and toss together with the juice and zest of the lemon, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper until evenly coated. Sprinkle half of the za'atar over the chicken and place in the oven.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl. Trim the fennel and shave on the thinnest setting of a mandolin. Add to the dressing along with the pine nuts and toss until evenly coated.

Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle over remaining za'atar and serve alongside fennel salad.

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