Chicken With Za' atar and Cumin Aioli

Allison Johnston | 14 November, 2016 |

            Chicken With Za' Atar and Cumin Aioli

This delightful meal is not only tasty but very filling. Perfect for any occasion. The following recipe serves 2-4 people. 



2 heads of garlic, top third cut off

6 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 3-4 pound chicken, cut in half lengthwise, backbone removed (spatchcocked)

4 Tbsp Za'atar

1 1/2 tsp lemon zest and 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Rosemary, crumbled

1 small Serrano chile, seeded and minced 

2 tsp Marjoram

Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppercorns

Cumin Aioli( recipe follows)



Preheat oven to 400F.

Put garlic on a large sheet of foil.

Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and wrap tightly with foil.

Roast until tender and golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.

Let cool.

Place chicken in a 13x9x2" glass baking dish.

Sprinkle 2 1/2 tablespoons Za'Atar over chicken.

Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of skins and into a small bowl; mash into a paste with the back of a fork.

Add 4 tablespoons oil, lemon zest and juice, Rosemary, Serrano chile and Marjoram; whisk to blend.

Pour over chicken; turn to coat.

Season chicken with salt and pepper; Meanwhile, build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Or heat the oven to 375º

Grill/or roast chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is crisp and browned and an instant read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the thigh without touching bone reads 160F, about 35/45 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board, sprinkle with remaining  1 1/2 tbsp Za'atar and let rest for 10 minutes.

Cut each chicken half into 4 pieces and serve on a platter with:

Cumin Aioli

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large egg yolks (preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt


Stir cumin in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 minutes; let cool. Coarsely grind in a spice mill. Whisk yolks, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl. While whisking, slowly pour in oil drop by drop, whisking vigorously until emulsified. Whisk in cumin and 1/2 teaspoon water. Season with salt. Cover; chill.


Serves 2-4.