Chicken thighs flavored from the Middle East. Tasty and easy recipe

Sometimes the stars align when we need culinary inspiration. I had some chicken thighs in the fridge waiting for their destination but I couldn't think how to prepare them, and suddenly this New York Times recipe crossed my mind. The mention of zaatar was enough to launch me to modify the dish to my liking, and so these chicken drumsticks with the aroma of the Middle East came out.

I recommend you look in specialized stores for the zaatar spice mix, it is a marvel of aromas and flavors that completely transform any dish. You can also improvise a little your own mixture, combining toasted sesame seeds with thyme, marjoram, cumin, fennel, oregano, salt and sumac or sumac, which is reddish and slightly acidic. It can be omitted, but if you are passionate about spices, look for it and you will love it.


For 4 people
  • Boneless chicken thighs 6
  • Pressed garlic cloves 3
  • Extra virgin olive oil 60 ml
  • Lemon 2
  • Zaatar or homemade mix 30 ml
  • Plain greek yogurt 250 g
  • Couscous 200 g
  • Dried thyme
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt

How to Make Middle Eastern Aromatic Chicken Thighs

Difficulty: easy
  • Total time 50 m
  • Elaboration 30 m
  • Cooking 20 m

Dry the chicken thighs with kitchen paper and remove any excess fat. If they are very large pieces, cut in two. Arrange in a bowl or deep dish and mix with 45 ml of extra virgin olive oil -I have used arbequina and it goes very well-, the zest and the juice of the lemon and the pressed garlic, reserving a little garlic for the yogurt.

If we don't have zaatar, toast 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds in a frying pan and mix with 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sumac or sweet and sour paprika, to give color. Mix very well with the chicken, cover and take to the fridge for at least half an hour.

Heat a griddle or grill and cook the chicken without draining over high heat until golden brown on both sides, about 5-8 minutes on each side. Meanwhile cook the couscous and mix with thyme, pepper and salt to taste. Drain the yogurt and mix with one or two tablespoons of olive oil, the zest of the other lemon, the garlic and season with salt and pepper.


Middle Eastern scented chicken thighs pair great with couscous and flavored yogurt for a refreshing touch that is more appreciated now that the heat is on. We can also prepare a fresh salad or simply cut some good tomatoes to have a very complete menu.

Tags:  Desserts Fish Meats And Birds 

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