Chicken breasts are a staple in our home for their simplicity and their low fat content. I do love chicken thighs, but I’m the outlier in my otherwise white meat family. But let’s be honest, because of their lack of fat, chicken breasts can often be dry if not given some assistance. Marinating your chicken breasts in olive oil, white wine, za’atar and garlic produces a moist and very flavorful piece of meat. Za’atar (also spelled za’tar, zatar, zatr, zattr, zahtar, zaktar or satar) is a blend of spices used in Middle Eastern cooking. It is often found on the tables as a condiment throughout North Africa and into Turkey. I’ve used Za’atar in my hummus and as a seasoning on baked pita chips.
The exact ingredients sometime vary. The mix I use contains thyme, sesame seeds and sumac. I’ve seen others that also add paprika, cumin, oregano and salt.
Because of the Middle Eastern ‘feel’ of the chicken, we wanted to stay with that theme, so added some cumin-rubbed eggplant and a minted-yogurt sauce to top both the chicken and eggplant. A green salad and maybe some pita bread make this meal complete.
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