Za'atar Chicken with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce

In the US, we are not used to marinating with yogurt. If you haven’t tried it, it adds a delicious, slightly tangy quality to the chicken. After cooking, be sure to smash the accompanying garlic and yogurt (peeking out under the chicken) and serve with each bite of chicken. Yummy! Barb L.

Serves: 4


4-6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, about 2 ½ pounds total

2 medium red onions cut into 1” thick wedges

2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise, plus 2 cloves

1 lemon, quartered, seeds removed

Kosher salt

1/3 cup Flying Olive Garlic, Lemon, Gremolata, or a Single Varietal of Choice

1 ½ cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

3 Tbsp Za’atar (a blend of sumac, dried herbs, and sesame seeds. It can be found in Middle Eastern or International grocery stores. Recently, I saw it in Kroger’s in the spice section)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp finely grated lime zest


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Arrange the chicken, onions, halved garlic heads, and lemon in a 13” x 9” baking dish. Season both sides liberally with salt. Pour the oil in the dish and toss everything together to coat. Turn the garlic, cut side down, and nestle them in so that they are in contact with the baking dish. Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until the meat is almost falling off the bone, about 50-60 minutes, or 30-40 for separated thighs and legs.

Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce. Finely grate 1 garlic clove into a small bowl. Add the yogurt, a pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp water. Mix well. Set aside.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and transfer the onions, garlic, and lemon quarters to a plate. Loosely cover with foil. Increase the oven temperature to 425 and continue to roast the chicken until the skin is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully that it doesn’t burn. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest about 10 minutes under loose foil. Set aside the pan with the juices.

Finely grate the remaining garlic clove into another small bowl. Add Za’atar, coriander, lemon zest, and lime zest. Pour in some of the reserved juices from the pan until you’ve reached a consistency (about ½ cup) to your liking. Mix in a pinch of salt.

Spread the reserved yogurt sauce over a platter and arrange the chicken pieces on top. Scatter the onions, garlic and lemons around the outside. Drizzle (or if you’ve opted for a thicker sauce) or spoon everything with the Za’atar oil.

Inspired by a recipe in Bon Appétit Magazine, April, 2019.

Submitted by Barb L.