Zaatar and Lemon Chicken on Jewelled and Nutty Rice

Zaatar and Lemon Chicken on Jewelled and Nutty Rice

Zaatar has to be one of my favourite spice blends, especially over the summer to easily add a punch of flavour to a dish. Combined with lemon and coated on chicken, this dish is perfect for a summer's evening. The jewelled rice is cooked in the juices from the chicken for extra flavour, and is jam-packed full of delicious extras.

Serves: 2 - 3

Cooking time: 45 minutes


For the Chicken:

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 3 tsp Zaatar
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Olive Oil

For the Jewelled Rice:

  • 160g Basmati Rice
  • 3 tbsp Flaked Almonds
  • 3 tbsp Cashews
  • 3 tbsp Pistachios
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • Knob of Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • Few strands of Saffron
  • 75g Raisons
  • Zest of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/4 Pomegranate
  • Bunch of Coriander

For the Yoghurt:

  • 3 tbsp Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • Lemon Zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 180℃. Place the skillet/frying pan on a medium heat on the hob and add a dash of oil.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a bowl along with the zaatar, lemon zest and juice, toss so completely covered.
  3. Once the oil has heated in the pan, place in the chicken thighs skin side down to begin crisping up for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the chicken over to skin side up, and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes. (If using a frying pan, transfer the chicken onto a preheated baking tray to go in the oven.)
  5. Meanwhile, cook the rice until slightly underdone, drain, and set aside.
  6. Dice the onion roughly and prepare the pomegranate by cutting into quarters and removing the jewels.
  7. Place the nuts on a baking tray, crushing slightly into rough mixed-sized pieces, and toast in the oven for 5 minutes or until golden.
  8. Add the saffron strands to 50ml warm water and set aside.
  9. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.
  10. Return the skillet/frying pan to the hob on a medium heat and add butter.
  11. Add turmeric, cumin, crushed cardamom pods, raisins, and red onion. Sauté for 8-10 mins until the onion is coated in the spices and starts to crisp up.
  12. Stir in the pre-cooked rice and saffron water until the rice is bright yellow and well-coated with the spice mix.
  13. Add lemon zest, pomegranate, nuts, and coriander, stirring them in and then turning off the heat.
  14. Place the chicken on top and add any desired garnish.
  15. For the yoghurt side dish, place yoghurt on a side plate, drizzling it with molasses and lemon zest.

Serving Note: Serve the dish as a beautiful centrepiece, showcasing its colourful beauty alongside the yoghurt with an ice-cold glass of Rosé, listening to Lily Moore, More Moore Mixtape.

Zaatar and Lemon Chicken on Jewelled and Nutty Rice

The Heartwarming Home of Comforting Recipes

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