Za’atar chicken with hummus, pine nuts and pomegranate

Packed with Middle Eastern flavours and made in minutes - this chicken dish is a keeper


Photo: Sam Folan

Za’atar can be used as a finishing condiment in many different dishes, from eggs to soups to flat breads and grilled meat and fish. It is delicious and indispensable to your store cupboard, to be bought little and often for tip-top condition. You can make your own – there are plenty of recipes online, but you can also buy ready-made blends in most larger supermarkets. I’ve given the recipe for hummus (which takes us beyond the one-pan ethos [in Claire’s book], I know) – by all means buy some ready-made or just turn a blind eye to a little extra washing up just this once.

Serves: 4

Prep: 15 minutes (less if using bought hummus)
Cook: 15 – 20 minutes


700g boneless skinless chicken pieces (thigh is best) diced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 garlic cloves, crushed with ½ tsp salt

3 tbsp za’atar

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

3 tbsp pine nuts (or roughly chopped pistachios)

1 small pomegranate, deseeded

1 small bunch of coriander (cilantro) or flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped

For the hummus (or use about 400g store -bought)

1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained

Juice of ½ lemon

1 garlic clove

1 generous tbsp tahini

4 tbsp good olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • First, make the hummus (if making your own). Put half the chickpeas with 4 tablespoons of water and all the remaining hummus ingredients, apart from the olive oil, into a blender and blitz to form a thick, smooth paste. Once smooth, add the olive oil and blend until emulsified. Season well with salt to taste. Keep to one side.
  • Mix the chicken with the olive oil, cumin, coriander and garlic. Add half the za’atar and half the pomegranate molasses.
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan.
  • Tip the chicken and the remaining chickpeas into a baking tray and bake for 15–20 minutes, turning the chicken pieces over halfway through, until the chicken is cooked. Roughly 3 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the pine nuts (or pistachios) to the tray to toast.
  • Spread out the hummus on to a large serving platter (or individual plates), top with the cooked chicken and chickpeas and spoon over any of the cooking juices.
  • Drizzle the remaining molasses and sprinkle the remaining za’atar over the dish, then scatter with the pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander or parsley.

Recipe adapted from: One Pan Chicken, Hardie Grant

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