This recipe requires some logistics - not because it’s a complicated dish to make, but because the cooking time is 4 hours. If you want to have this chicken for lunch at noon, it has to be in the oven by 8am to be ready in time. If you are not into spices – using salt, pepper, and oil on the chicken will be all you need. What gives this chicken its unique and succulent flavor is the slow cooking process. For those of you who want to add more flavors I bring the recipe below, but feel free to play with any spice combination that you like. I found most of the spices at Pacific Food Importers in Seattle.
1 whole chicken
2 tbsp za’atar
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp French curry
1 tbsp harissa
1 tsp granulated garlic
½ tsp cumin
¼ cup oil
salt and pepper
1 lemon (optional)
Preheat oven to 250F/120C
Place all spices and oil in a baking pan. Create a paste.
Place chicken in the pan and spread the spice paste on and under the skin.
Cut lemon into half and insert it inside of the chicken.
Bake for 4 hours.
Before serving you can set the oven on broil and let it crisp the skin of the chicken for 1-2 minutes.
I love to serve the thighs when they are warm and crispy with a side dish like Green Beans with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives, Zucchini Fries, or Kale in Tomato Sauce.
I prefer to use the chicken breast in salads. I let the chicken cool down, chop it, place it in an airtight container, and keep in the fridge. It’s a great addition on a garden salad with some blue cheese or mixed with Coleslow Salad.
When you are done with the cooking – don’t throw away the liquid at the bottom of the pan. In my next recipe I’ll show you what to do with it.
If you still want to have chicken with the same flavor but less cooking time – see my Piquant Chicken recipe.