Za’atar Chicken Legs with Giant Couscous

The coating on this Za’atar Chicken dish is the real star of the show the flavours of pomegranate molasses, mint and chili really are sublime!

The coating on this Za'atar Chicken dish is the real star of the show the flavours of pomegranate molasses, mint and chili really are sublime!

As we have definitely come to the end of Winter I think I am definitely ready to say that Persian and North African flavours have been my ‘new black’ for the period. This za’atar chicken leg dish with cous cous is yet another riff on that idea.

These flavours have given me a new series of ingredients to bust the monotony of stew season. Of course there is nothing wrong with a good stew, chili or curry, I love them but strings and bows are important for me as a cook. Playing with pomegranate, sumac and as per this dish za’atar has added new flavours to a time of year where my cooking is typically in my ‘comfort zone’.

The coating on this Za'atar Chicken dish is the real star of the show the flavours of pomegranate molasses, mint and chili really are sublime!

So ok, we have za’atar chicken but what exactly is za’atar?

Well it’s just another of those spice blends typified by principally toasted sesame seeds and sumac along with salt, thyme and oregano or marjoram and is used from everything to a seasoning for grilled meats through to a dip for flatbreads just after you have dipped them into olive oil.

Trust me you gotta try that one! In this recipe it is mixed with dried mint and pomegranate molasses to form an almost chewy fragrant crust to a simply cooked chicken leg. Aftter the za’atar chicken legs are cooked you end up with a load of glorious flavours in the pan so the giant cous cous comes to the rescue here.

The whole side element is put together to soak up those flavours and complement them. What ever you do do not throw that stuff away, hell just dip bread in it if you must, it is awesome!

The coating on this Za'atar Chicken dish is the real star of the show the flavours of pomegranate molasses, mint and chili really are sublime!
Za'atar Chicken Legs with Giant Cous Cous

Za'atar Chicken Legs with Giant Cous Cous

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
The coating on this Za'atar Chicken dish is the real star of the show the flavours of pomegranate molasses, mint and chili really are sublime!

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 2 Chicken Legs, Separated into thighs and drumsticks, skin removed
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Mint
  • 2 Tbsp Za'atar
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

For the Giant Cous Cous.

  • 150 g Israeli Cous Cous, Also known as giant cous cous
  • 3 Shallots, Peeled and cut in half
  • 2 Spring onions, Cut into 5mm lengths
  • 30 g Walntus, Roughly chopped
  • 10 g Parsley, Fresh
  • 1 Pomegranate, Seeds only
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil, Neutral
  • 1 Tbsp Rosewater

Instructions

  1. Mix together the ingredients for the chicken to form a thick paste and then slather over the chicken and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200°c.
  3. Now heat a frying pan that you can transfer to the oven over a medium high heat and when hot add the oil and fry the shallots on the cut side until you get a nice colour.
  4. Flip over the shallots and add the marinaded chicken before transferring to the oven a roasting for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 74°C.
  5. Whilst the chicken is cooking cook the cous cous as per the instructions on the packet, this should take 12-15 minutes. Try and time this so that it is ready a couple of minutes before your chicken is ready to come out of the oven.
  6. When the chicken is cooked remove it from the frying pan along with the onions and we will used the cooking juices as a coating for the cous cous salad.
  7. So add the the cous cous to the frying pan that the chicken was served in along with the rose water and stir to coat.
  8. Then add in the walnuts, pomegranate, spring onions and parsley and combine.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Total time includes time for marinading the chicken.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 1555 Total Fat: 48g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 33g Cholesterol: 328mg Sodium: 1682mg Carbohydrates: 212g Fiber: 13g Sugar: 154g Protein: 75g

Readers Comments

10 thoughts on “Za’atar Chicken Legs with Giant Couscous”

    • Try and dig some out, it id very different to regular cous cous, not better or worse just different and add much more substance to a side dish for me.

  1. I made giant couscous the other day for the first time in ages and remembered how much I loved it! The flavours in your couscous sound fab – love pomegranate.

    • Thanks Becca, I was horrified to discover my ‘dealer’ in giant cous cous is all out and has no plans to get more… Time to move on me thinks 😀

  2. Great recipe. I love the idea of adding the couscous to the pan to soak up the spices!

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