Chicken drumsticks with za’atar marinade

I discovered the lovely herb blend za’atar on my trip to Syria about a year ago. It consists of sesame seeds and dried thyme, but depending on the blend it can taste quite different. I bought a large bag of my favourite blend, a special blend a Damascus spice wholesaler made so it is probably one of the best you can get.

I love to cook with this blend and have used it in a few different dishes. Last week I marinaded drumsticks in a mixture of za’atar, lemon juice, Japanese soy, olive oil and garlic for about 48 hours and the cooked chicken was lovely and moist and coated of a golden layer or the marinade.

I used dried limes (also purchased in Syria) and whole cardamom pods to flavour the rice, which is popular in the Middle East. Once drained and the spices removed I sprinkled some sumac on it for extra flavour. The sauce is a simple mix of creme fraiche/soured cream, sambal oelek and fresh lime juice.

If you don’t want to eat the chicken with rice for supper the drumsticks work well on a picnic as well.

Chicken drumsticks with za’atar marinade

6 chicken drumsticks

4 tbsp za’atar

1/2 lemon, the juice

2 tbsp Japanese soy

2 whole garlic cloves

1/2 olive oil

salt, black pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large ziplock bag and shake to combine. Leave in the fridge to marinade for at least 24 hours, but preferrably 48. Cook in a 200C oven on a rack with a tin foil covered roasting tray below for about 20 minutes.

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2 thoughts on “Chicken drumsticks with za’atar marinade

  1. I have loved za’atar forever it seems, but have never combined it with soy. And 24 hours has been my maximum marinating time for items such as chicken drumsticks which I use quite often. So, two lessons in one, Hanna – how delightful 🙂 !

    1. As long as you have lemon or something to tenderize in the marinade, I think the longer the better.

      And I’m glad you share my love for za’atar!

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