Middle Eastern Chicken Thighs
with Crispy Chickpeas and Fresh Herb Sauce
This recipe really features your fresh mid season garden produce. It highlights those zucchini, colourful cherry tomatoes, garlic and herbs from our summer gardens. And we all need more zucchini recipes! Am I right? The chicken and chickpeas have an earthy, exotic flavour while providing filling substance. The veggies and herbs bring bold, bright flavours. The herb sauce really gives it some zing! This is a nutritious and super easy meal that everyone will love, even the kids. It is also super easy to cleanup, only one pan!
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
olive oil as needed
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Zatar seasoning *
1 red onion, sliced vertically
1 can chickpeas (19 fl.oz. or 540mL)
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup cherry tomatoes (or larger tomatoes cut into big chunks)
Fresh Herb Sauce:
1⁄2 cup fresh parsley
1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro (you can use mint if you are cilantro adverse)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄2 tsp cumin
red pepper flakes to taste
* If the Zatar is a new spice for you, it is the hallmark of this recipe and well worth purchasing (it is a mix of thyme, sesame seeds, lemon peel, basil, savory, marjoram and sumac). You will find uses for it in so many other things too (looking at you hummus)! If you absolutely can't find it, a mix of equal parts cumin and thyme can be substituted, although the flavour will be different.
Place a large baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 425 F. Make sure you put the sheet pan in before you turn your oven on so that it heats up while the oven is heating up. You want that pan hot to get good browning and crispness.
Toss chicken thighs, chickpeas and onion with olive oil (about 2 glugs or 2 tablespooons), Zatar, salt and pepper. Arrange on baking sheet in an even layer and bake 15-20 minutes.
Toss zucchini and tomatoes with olive oil (again, about 2 glugs), salt and pepper. Add to baking sheet and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, combine parsley and cilantro in a blender with 2 Tbsp olive oil and the water. Blend to combine. Add remaining sauce ingredients and blend well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve chicken and vegetables drizzled with the herb sauce. Go all Jackson Pollock with it! (Just make sure you don't get it all over your walls.)
Yummy gardening everyone!
Original recipe from Cleaning Eating Magazine July/August 2019.