Zaatar‘s uses are not confined to breads and cheese. Using it as a rub on chicken and meats packs on the flavor and texture to unbelievable heights.
It may seem like an odd pairing, zaatar and pumpkin, but really it is a genius one. Just look at the contrast in color! The bright orange like the breaking of dawn, and the rough, dark, and spicy zaatar is like rich soil still damp from the night. The contrast in flavors is very intriguing as well: the tangy zing from the zaatar versus the mellow sweetness of the pumpkin.I served the chicken halves over a bed of barley pilaf, but any grain accompaniment would do..
You can also choose to cut the chicken into smaller bits, halve it, or leave it whole.
3 x 1.2kg chicken
3/4 cup zaatar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 baby pumpkin
Preheat oven to 400F.
Clean, trim, rinse, and dry the chicken.
Cut each chicken in half, place in a large baking dish in single layer.
Peel the pumpkin, slice into wedges, de-seed, and place randomly around the chicken.
Sprinkle the chicken and pumpkin with the salt and zaatar, then drizzle with the olive oil and rub all over the chicken and pumpkin.
Re-arrange the chicken, skin-side up, into a single layer, with the pumpkin snugly placed between.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours uncovered.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving.