Za’atar Chicken Thighs over Garlicky Greens
with lemony carrot and cauliflower soup
Za'atar spice mix has slowly been gaining popularity within the Cook Smarts community, and we're always looking for new ways to feature this unique spice. In this two part meal, the spice mix flavors pan-seared chicken thighs and a thick, creamy vegetables soup (that is made without any dairy).
- Onions, medium and red - 1/2, chopped
- Carrots - 1 1/2 lbs, chopped
- Cauliflower - 1 1/2 lbs, florets
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Za'atar - 2 tsp
- Chili powder - 1 tsp
- Stock, any type - 4 cups
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Garlic - 2 cloves, thinly sliced
- Chard, any type - 1 bunch, leaves torn and stems chopped
- Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 lb
- Za'atar - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Onions / Carrots / Cauliflower / Garlic - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Prep as directed. Combine onions, carrots, and cauliflower in one container. Store garlic separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chard - Tear leaves and chop stems. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Chicken - Tenderize chicken with a fork. Season with za’atar (portion for chicken) and some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Heat oven to 400F / 204C.
- Toss onions, carrots, and cauliflower with oil (portion for soup) and then za’atar (portion for soup), chili powder, and some salt and black pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan (use two sheet pans if needed to prevent crowding).
- Transfer vegetables to the oven.
- Once vegetables are in the oven, heat a skillet with oil (first portion for chicken) over medium heat. Add chicken thighs and sear on both sides until golden brown (chicken will finish cooking in the oven), ~3 minutes per side.
- Transfer chicken to the sheet pan of vegetables (leave the skillet on the stove) that have been roasting. Continue roasting chicken and vegetables until chicken reaches 165F / 74C degrees, 15 to 20 minutes more (they should finish at about the same time, but you can remove the chicken if it finishes before the vegetables are tender).
- Return to the skillet that is over medium heat and add oil (second portion for chicken). Add chard stems and leaves and saute until very tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and some salt and saute until garlic is fragrant, ~2 minutes.
- Transfer greens to a serving plate and top with cooked chicken thighs. Cover to keep warm.
- Transfer vegetables to a blender with stock and lemon juice (do this in batches if needed). Blend until very smooth. Taste and season with some more salt and / or some more lemon juice if needed. (Note: The soup should be fairly thick, but add some more stock or water if it seems too thick.)
- Serve chicken over greens with soup on the side. Enjoy!
This was ok overall - not a favorite, but I still liked it. After reading the comments, I roasted the vegetables for longer to make sure they were plenty soft, I blended using a Vitamix to get the soup nice and smooth, and I transferred everything to a pot on the stove to warm it up. I also sprinkled some extra zaatar on the soup when serving. I liked the beans and greens topping, but might consider roasting the chickpeas next time to add a crunchy texture. (I had pita bread instead of pita chips, so I was missing the crunch!)0 Helpful
The chicken and the soup were great, but the greens were gross. They tasted way too bitter— I think that’s because I used chard stems in addition to greens, but that’s how the recipe was written. If I was making this again I would definitely sub kale. Also the proportions are off; we had way too little chicken for the other parts of the dish. So if I were making this again I’d double or triple the amount of chicken.0 Helpful
This was just OK. You could tell there was some interesting flavor from the za'atar, but I think it was greatly muted by roasting it with the veggies instead of adding it later. Perhaps sautéing it a pan that mixing it in later? We even added twice the suggested amount, but it was still not very flavorsome. The chunky consistency was fine and it all came together relatively easily having roasted the veggies (for more like 45 min than 30 min to make them soft enough) on the previous night. The topping and yogurt really helped make it interesting though. Served it with some fresh sourdough.0 Helpful
The za'atar chicken thighs are AMAZING. Such good flavor! Especially with the garlicky greens. I did season it with more za'atar than called for. The soup also had great flavor but in this recipe, it's missing a key step -- how long to roast the veggies. I see that they have that time in the recipe for just the soup but I never saw that recipe until now, so only had the chicken one with the soup. The consistency was a bit thick but I thinned it out with more stock (about half a cup, added a little at a time) and it got better. I also added more za'atar seasoning and salt and pepper.0 Helpful
Soup was fine but not enough for dinner.0 Helpful
This recipe was great for an autumn soup and is good frozen and reheated for later meals.0 Helpful