Low Carb Chicken With Sumac And Za’atar. Or it’s Arabic name, Musakhan. This dish, when fixed properly, is a sign of great love and respect for relatives and special friends. It shows that not only did the woman spend time preparing the meal but also that her husband provided money for the pine nuts that top the dish and alas yes, pine nuts are expensive worldwide. I am hoping this looks well worth your effort and that you get your hands of some sumac and za’atar to make it. They are both spices used extensively in Middle Eastern cuisine and staples in every home with many families making their own za’atar from scratch. Sumac by itself in quite piquant and lemony so the addition of more lemon is really only an esthetic one and for decoration only. I have both these spices/herbs because I cook Middle Eastern foods like Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Tzatziki, Lemon Thyme Cauliflower Quinoa, Lemon Mint Tahini Salad Dressing, Tahini Dip, Baba Ganoush, and more since I have family in Dubai. The dish is usually made with crispy pita bread under the chicken and with more pita served to the side but for obvious reasons and to keep it low carb…
This dish may be done with whole roasted chicken and should go with lots of other side dishes because in the Mid-East people tend to have larger families which include parents and grandparents and since we here in the US tend not to eat so communally, I just did thighs instead. Not much of a secret that I like dark meat chicken as a lot of my recipes reflect it. FYI Middle Eastern chickens are much, and I do mean much smaller than the over-sized monstrosities we breed here. We would call theirs a small Cornish game hen. The emphasis of the meal is not necessarily meat-centric but is only a part of the aggregate so, if you are eating 3, or 4 other smaller items with your meal, one large thigh should be plenty enough and anyway, two thighs is not many carbs.
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- 8 Large Chicken Thighs Bone-In Skin On
- 2 Large Onions Thinly Sliced (Julienned)
- 2 T Sumac
- 1 T Crushed Garlic
- ⅓ C Olive Oil + More For Drizzle
- 1½ t All Spice
- 1½ t Cinnamon
- 1¼ C Water
- 2 t Chicken Base
- 1½ t Salt
- 1 t Pepper
- 3 T Za’atar+More If Wanted
- ½ T Butter
- ⅓ C Pine Nuts
- 1 Lemon Thinly Sliced Into 8
- Mix and divide in half and put everything into two large resealable plastic bag except the onions, za’atar, butter, and pine nuts and refrigerate for at least several hours and overnight is great.
- Bring chicken to room temperature before attempting to cook it.
- Preheat oven to 425°
- Arrange chicken skin side up along with marinade arranged around the chicken in a large 9"x13" baking pan.
- Roast for 40-45 minutes or until chicken skin is cooked, crispy, and darkened.
- Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat, add pine nuts and stirring almost constantly, sauté until golden brown. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Sprinkle chicken liberally with za'atar, top with onions, then with pine nuts. If desired, use more sumac & za’atar. It’s pretty hard to overdo either one of them.
- Put a slice of lemon to the side as garnish. (I forgot mine).
- Let anyone who wants to drizzle additional olive oil, to do so.
- 8 Servings
- 555 Calories, 33.3g Protein, 44.0g Fat, 5.6g Carbs, .9g Fiber, 4.7g Net Carbs
- Traditionally za’atar, sumac, & olive oil once used by the cook, would also be served in their own small dishes for people to pinch, drizzle, or dip pita bread into.
- I personally would serve this on a platter and let people serve themselves but that’s just me.
- The sumac in the left picture is the bright red and the za'atar is the greenish brown mixture with sesame seeds spread all over the chicken and plate.
- To add complexity and tradition, the onions would be caramelized but for ease of the recipe I baked mine with the chicken which worked really well.