Za’atar Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Onions


8 chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb)
2-3 tablespoons Za’atar
1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
2 medium onions, cut into large wedges
superfine flour (like Wondra)
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375.
Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet. Lightly oil or spray with cooking spray a 8×13 inch baking pan. Set aside.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with Za’atar, salt and pepper. Flour the top (skin-side) of the chicken. Place the chicken skin-side down in the pan.

Cook about 10 minutes or until the skin is crisp, lightly browned and much of the fat has rendered into the pan. DO NOT FLIP THE CHICKEN!

Meanwhile, arrange the potatoes and onions in single layer in the baking pan. Top with the chicken, skin-side up.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the potatoes are tender. Serve immediately.

My thoughts:

I am so excited I came up with this method of cooking chicken thighs last year. I love Maryland-style fried chicken but that is a bit much for every day. This method gives me crispy chicken that is still very moist and flavorful without the hassle of frying. The trick is cooking it skin-side down to crisp the skin and render most of the fat (the “bottoms” are virtually fat-free)–you can even crowd the pan because you don’t have to flip the chicken! You end up with way crispier chicken then you can hope for with simple baking and since most of the fat has rendered, no greasy vegetables on the bottom.

I’ve made Crispy Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower, Artichoke and Olives and Crispy Chicken Thighs with Portobellos, Zucchini and Potatoes in the past but this time I veered away from making it a total one dish meal and just cooked the chicken over potatoes and onions.  I served it with a simple salad.  The best part is that since you seasoned the bottom of the chicken, you don’t have to season the potatoes and onions, it just naturally coats the potatoes. The result is succulent chicken, flavorful potatoes in just about 10 minutes of hands-on time. You can’t beat that!

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