Monday, January 31, 2022

Garlic, Garlic, Garlic

Lots of Garlic!

If you like garlic and chicken and lemon and yogurt and Mediterranean seasonings, this dish is for you!

They say that the second time's the charm...hope so since this is the second time I'm writing this up to post. I had it all ready, photos and all, and while I was looking to see what month and year the magazine Bon Appetit had printed this recipe, I knocked the magazine against the mouse and somehow erased the whole post! Let's try again.

Sometimes I have trouble getting to sleep. If I've just finished a book, as happened a few nights ago, I often will look at an old issue of a magazine. Bon Appetit are my favorites ones. Going to sleep with visions of a good meal in my head is a great way to do it. That's exactly what happened because I found this recipe, Za'atar Chicken with Garlicky Yogurt. I picked up a few things at the grocery store the next day, but not everything I needed because that would require organization, something that seems to have gone out the window with the pandemic. So, the next day when I made it, I substituted a yellow onion for the red onion, some minced cilantro for the coriander, and low fat Greek yogurt instead of whole milk yogurt.

I do recommend getting chicken with skin on it because the roasting produced lovely, crackly skin. Za'atar is a blend of sumac, dried herbs, and sesame seeds. It can usually be found at Middle Eastern markets, specialty foods stores and online. I buy mine at Penzey's Spices and theirs is delicious.

I served mine with some pine nut couscous from a package, reconstituted with boiled chicken broth. I also served a couple of grilled zucchini. Each cut side was sprinkled with, what else?, garlic salt. It was a great combination and the couscous soaked up the garlicky yogurt sauce, roasted garlic cloves, and oily za'atar drizzle and chicken juices beautifully.

Za'atar Chicken with Garlicky Yogurt
form Bon Appetit magazine, April 2019 issue

4 chicken legs (although I only used thigh pieces with skin on), about 2 1/2 pounds total
2 medium red onions, cut into 1"-thick wedges (although I used yellow onions)
2 heads garlic, halved crosswise, plus 2 cloves garlic
1 lemon, quartered, seeds removed
Kosher salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (although I used low-fat)
3 tablespoons za'atar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest (and I added the juice of the lime to the za'atar drizzle, too)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Arrange chicken, onions, halved garlic heads, and lemon in a 13"x9" baking dish; season liberally with salt (including on both sides of chicken pieces). Pour in oil and toss everything to coat. Turn garlic cut side down and nestle it in so it is in contact with the the baking dish. Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until meat is almost falling off the bone, 50-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely grate 1 clove garlic into a small bowl. Add yogurt, a big pinch salt, and 1 tablespoon water and mix well. Set aside to come to room temperature.

Remove baking dish from oven and transfer onions, garlic, and lemon to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm. 

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F. and continue to roast chicken until skin is golden brown, 10-15 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, cover with foil to keep warm, and let rest 10 minutes. Set aside pan juices.

Finely grate the remaining garlic clove into another small bowl. Add za'atar, coriander, lemon zest, lime zest and lime juice. Mix to combine. Pour about 1/3 cup reserved pan juices into za'atar mixture until you've reached an oily, drizzle, consistency. Mix in a pinch of salt.

Spread reserved yogurt mixture over a platter and arrange chicken over top. Scatter onion, garlic, and lemon around; drizzle it all with the za'atar oil mixture. Serve at once.

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