Monday, June 3, 2013

Za'atar Chicken and Wild Rice Pilaf

I picked up a jar of za'atar seasoning from Williams-Sonoma recently, and I have been using it a lot in my recipes. It's a Middle Eastern spice blend which combines sumac, thyme, sesame seed and sea salt. It's great on meat, so far I've used it on chicken, beef and pork. I wouldn't describe it as a stronger flavor combo, I find it mild, so I use a lot of it to season. For the recipe below, brown or white rice can be substituted for the wild rice. 


3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, about 2 lbs
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp za'atar seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups cooked wild rice blend
1 can cooked lentils, 15.5 oz
1/4 cup sliced almonds
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Season chicken with 1 tbsp za'atar seasoning, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Place chicken in pan and let brown on both sides, about 8 minutes per side. Add diced tomatoes. Stir and cover. Let cook until chicken is fully cooked, about 10 more minutes.
While chicken is cooking, heat butter in another large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add wild rice blend and lentils and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove chicken breasts from pan and chop. To serve, plate wild rice pilaf, top with chopped chicken and tomatoes. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and reserved 1 tsp za'atar seasoning. I would also garnish with some chopped fresh parsley. Serves 6.

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