This Za’atar Chicken with Chickpeas, Artichokes and Spinach makes a flavorful, Middle-Eastern inspired one dish meal. Serve it with cooked organic white rice for a full and satiating meal.
I’ve been wanting to get back to my roots with my cooking, but my 4-year-old wants to keep me in raw vegetable, watermelon and deli turkey land. It’s interesting to see how my 1-year-old gobbled up this meal and ended it with turmeric and Za’atar Chicken stained fingers and cheeks. My 4-year-old is in the “I can’t believe you would mix two foods together in the same cooking vessel” stage, so she did not partake. But the three of us who did, LOVED it!
If you’ve never tried Lebanese or Middle Eastern food, I highly recommend you go Yelp for a local restaurant now. Middle Eastern cooking is no stranger to flavor and utilizes lots of earthy spices, fresh herbs and bright acids like lemons and tomatoes.
This Za’atar Chicken with Chickpeas, Artichokes and Spinach is:
Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Nightshade-Free and Egg-Free
Made in one skillet for easy clean up for weeknight meals
Is budget friendly with the use of chicken thighs, canned chickpeas, canned artichokes and pantry staples
Comes together in 30 minutes or less!
I find preparing it a few hours before serving (and then reheating it prior to serving) allows the flavors to marry and develop. AKA It makes great leftovers!
Za’atar seasoning is a popular Lebanese seasoning blend made with sesame seeds, sumac, thyme and sometimes salt and other spices like coriander. It’s heavy on the thyme and sumac which provides a bright lemon-y flavor to any dish. Premade Za’atar seasoning can be found in many grocery store spice aisles, or you can make your own at home.
What other ways can I use Za’atar spice blend?
Top salads and soups before serving
Sprinkle on hummus
In sandwiches or lettuce wraps
On top of pizza
As a rub for roasts, ribs, and chicken
Because this is a one-dish meal that requires very minimal chopping, you can add it to your weeknight meal plans! I would say it’s a bit more for adventurous eaters with a rich, tangy sauce and herb-y cilantro finish. If you’ve been craving Lebanese take out from home, this should hit the spot! You could even serve it with a side of hummus, pita bread (I like the Siete Tortillas toasted for crispy pita bread for scooping) and a tabouleh salad.
The only cookware you’ll need for this recipe is a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet. I prefer cast-iron for browning and not burning the spices for this recipe. Here is the 10-inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet I use daily!
Ingredients in Gluten-Free Za’atar Chicken:
Salted Ghee (butter can be subbed)
Sumac, Oregano, Turmeric, Cumin
Salt and Pepper
Cilantro and rice, for serving
If you’re looking for some more healthy Middle Eastern inspired recipes, check out these from the blog:
2 1/2 tablespoons salted ghee, divided
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon Za’atar seasoning
14 oz can quartered aritchoke hearts, drained
2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoons grainy mustard
2 big handfuls torn spinach
fresh chopped cilantro, for serving
cooked white rice, for serving
- In a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet, heat 1 tablespoon ghee over medium-high heat. Add chickpeas to the skillet and season with a generous pinch salt, sumac, cumin, oregano, turmeric and garlic, toasting the chickpeas and spices for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned.
- Move chickpeas over to one side of pan and add 1/2 tablespoon ghee to the other side. Arrange chicken thighs (laid flat) in the ghee and sprinkle with half the Za’atar seasoning and a generous pinch salt.
- Brown the chicken thighs for 3 minutes before flipping and seasoning with the remaining Za’atar and another pinch salt.
- When the chicken is almost cooked through, stir in the artichoke hearts, coconut milk, lemon, and mustard. Bring to a simmer and season generously with cracked pepper. Simmer over medium for several minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and then stir in the spinach until wilted.
- Remove from heat and use a wooden spoon to break the chicken thighs up into small pieces.
- Serve with cooked rice, topped with fresh cilantro and sprinkle on additional sumac for presentation.