As I wrote yesterday, Rob and I tried cooking Lebanese food for the first time this weekend and really enjoyed it.
This recipe for roasted chicken wasn't as startlingly delicious as the butternut squash with tahini sauce recipe I shared yesterday, but it still made for a solid Saturday-evening entree.
On the plus side, it also transitioned well into chicken-barley soup for dinner last night. I made it using the same strategy as this chicken-carcass soup, although I cooked it on the stovetop. It was really good.
This recipe comes from mega-cookbook "The Lebanese Kitchen" by Salma Hage. It features za'atar, which is a spice mix of roasted thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. We bought a big bag of it at the international food store. It's a good think we liked it, because we have plenty to use.
2 1 /2 pound chicken
1 small onion, halved
1 tablespoon za'atar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the onion in the cavity of the chicken and season well with salt and pepper.
Wrap the chicken in foil and put into a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and roast for another 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the za'atar and olive oil in a bowl. Remove the chicken from the oven, unwrap, and remove the foil, then brush the za'atar mixture over the chicken. Return the chicken to the oven and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes to serve.
If you're cooking a larger chicken, you may want to add more time at each stage of roasting. We cooked ours for about 40 minutes on 400 degrees, about 70 minutes at 350 degrees and about 15 minutes after coating with the olive-oil mixture.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken has reached a safe temperature and let rest about 10 minutes before eating.