Za’atar Chicken Cutlets and Lemon-Parsley Salad

Start to finish: 30 minutes / Servings: 4
Our search for ways to spice up weeknight chicken took us to the Middle East where za’atar is a popular seasoning blend that often includes sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram and salt.

We were influenced by Ana Sortun, who often uses za’atar at her Oleana restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She calls za’atar “craveable” and jokes, “I can imagine it as the next Doritos flavor.” Her recipe for crispy lemon chicken with za’atar calls for making a lemon confit and stuffing it under the skin of whole halves of deboned chicken along with cubes of butter. We took a simpler tack and coated chicken cutlets in a flour-za’atar mixture.

We also used lemon zest and juice in our sauce along with tart and smoky Aleppo pepper, which has a fruity, moderate heat.

Don’t substitute chicken breasts here without pounding the meat first. Boneless, skinless chicken cutlets were ideal for fast cooking and are widely available at grocers. If you have only chicken breasts, use a meat mallet or heavy skillet to flatten them to an even ¼ inch.


1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (4 cutlets), pounded to ¼-inch thickness
Kosher salt
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon za’atar, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
¾ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on diagonal
½ teaspoon lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

Directions :

1. Season the chicken all over with salt. In a wide, shallow dish, combine ¼ cup of the za’atar,za’atar, the flour and pepper. In a 12-inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. One cutlet at a time, transfer the chicken to the za’atar mixture, coating and pressing onto all sides. Add the cutlets to the pan and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the parsley, scallions, lemon zest and juice, the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and a pinch of salt. Drizzle the molasses evenly over the chicken, then mound the greens over the cutlets. Sprinkle with walnuts and the remaining za’atar.

Author: el hassan

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