chicken

Picnic Za'atar Chicken Salad Slider

Picnic Za'atar Chicken Salad Slider

Chicken salad is one of the classic American dishes. It’s often made with mayonnaise and chopped celery. But, I wanted to add my Mediterranean twist to this by adding za’atar and swapping out mayo with Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt will make everything super creamy while adding a tangy note to the dish while za’atar brings extra savory herbaceous flavors, taking this salad to another level.

As the weather gets nice outside, I often go out for a picnic at the park, and I bring this to make a DIY chicken sandwich which everyone loves. Make this salad and put it in a container. Bring slider buns and a few condiments, like tomatoes, cucumbers, or arugula, to make easy, delicious chicken salad sliders!

Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

  • 1 cup greek yogurt

  • 3 tbsp za’atar

  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickle

  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber (small-diced)

  • 1/2 cup shredded almonds

  • slider buns, arugula, slices of tomato, and cucumber to serve

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine shredded rotisserie chicken, greek yogurt, za’atar, chopped cucumber and chopped pickle in a medium-sized bowl. Mix it until everything is well combined. Taste and season it with salt.

  2. Add shredded almonds to the mixture and mix everything again.

  3. Serve this chicken salad with slider buns with a few toppings.

Riz a Jej (Lebanese Chicken & Rice)

Riz a Jej, Lebanese Chicken & Rice

This traditional Lebanese chicken and rice dish is one of my favorites. Flavorful, seasoned rice, topped with juicy chicken and studded with nuts—it is, for me, the purest definition of comfort food. I have so many memories around this dish with my grandmother, so I wrote a sweet story around this for Food52. Hope you all get to taste my grandmother’s simple Lebanese chicken and rice dish.

PHOTO BY JULIA GARTLAND

Total Time: 1 hour
Makes: 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 tbsp EVOO

  • 1 cup onion, chopped

  • 2 lbs ground beef or lamb

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice

  • 2 tbsp salt

  • 4 tbsp bahārāt (seven-pepper spice)

  • 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

  • 5 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 cup cashews

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup silvered almonds

  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

  • 1/4 cup pistachios

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. MAKE RICE: In a large pot, add the butter, olive oil, and onion and cook for 5 minutes until the onion softens. Make sure the onions don’t brown. Add the ground meat and cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes until the meat starts to brown. Add the rice, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the bahārāt to the pot, and cook for 2 minutes as you're stirring and coating the rice with the spices. Add 4 cups of chicken stock and bay leaves to the pot and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice is fully cooked.

  2. MAKE CHICKEN: In a medium-sized pot, add shredded chicken and remaining 2 tbsp bahārāt. Mix well until fully seasoned. Add remaining 1 cup of chicken stock to the mixture and bring it to a gentle simmer on a low heat. This process will keep the chicken moist and flavorful.

  3. TOAST NUTS: Set the oven at the 450°F. In separate batches, toast each nut in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly golden. Once toasted, mix all the nuts together. Set aside.

  4. ASSEMBLE: To assemble, place the rice mixture on a serving platter and cover with shredded chicken. Garnish with toasted nuts.

Za'atar Crusted Chicken

Za’atar Crusted Chicken

People are always asking me different ways to use my favorite seasoning of all time — za’atar. I have to say the quickest and the most efficient way of adding a ton of flavor to protein is making this za’atar marinade. Unlike other marinades that might require some time, this one just needs a good rub on your choice of protein, and it’s good to go!

I added extra sesame seeds for its texture, and you can use this marinade on anything you would like from tofu to shrimp. It is a perfect, simple dinner that will be your go-to recipe.

Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup za’atar

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 1 lemon zested and juiced

  • 3 tbsp EVOO

  • 2-3 lbs of chicken thighs, boneless, skinless

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix all the ingredients besides chicken thighs until well incorporated

  2. Add chicken thighs and marinate for 15-20 minutes

  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

  4. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and spread the chicken on there. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until tender but still juicy.

  5. Garnish with scallions and fresh mint.

Chicken & Fig Tagine

Chicken & Fig Tagine

The perfect winter stew, made to satisfy everyone. Full of different flavors and spices it opens up the smell of the house. It can be made in a crockpot and forgotten about, or cooked for 1-2 hours with a result of tender chicken, and vegetable goodness. Tagine has a long history in Moroccan cuisine, and here I have simplified it for the average cook without stripping any flavors away.

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 5 tbsp tagine spices

  • 2 tbsp salt (or more to taste)

  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 3 tbsp EVOO

  • 3 medium sized onions, peeled and large diced

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup raw chickpea, soaked overnight and drained

  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and large diced

  • 1 quart chicken stock

  • 2 cups warm water

  • 3 tbsp fig jam

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 lemon, juiced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, mix flour, 2 tbsp of tagine spice, and 1 tbsp of salt. Pat dry the chicken thighs and combine them with the flour and spice mixture.

  2. In a large heavy bottom pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of EVOO over medium heat. Once it’s hot, increase the heat and cook the chicken, for 4-5 minutes, until each side is brown. Once the chicken is all brown, set them aside.

  3. In the same pot that you cooked the chicken, cook onions and garlic with 2 tbsp of EVOO over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the onions are translucent. Make sure to scrape the chicken bits while you are cooking onions.

  4. Add the chickpea to the pot. Cook them for 3-5 minutes. Then, add carrots, 3 tbsp of tagine spice, and 1 tbsp of salt. Cook everything together for another 6-8 minutes until vegetables are getting tender.

  5. Add the chicken stock, and bring the mixture to a simmer.

  6. In a small bowl, mix warm water with fig jam. Once the tagine is simmering, add the fig water, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves and simmer for anoter 30 minutes.

  7. After simmering, add the reserved browned chicken to the pot and cook for another 30-45 minutes.

  8. Transfer the tagine to a serving bowl and finish it with a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This was my favorite dip when I moved to America. I looked forward to visiting my friend, Becky, to watch the Super Bowl with my family because she made THE BEST buffalo chicken dip EVER. After so many years passed since then, I still remember Becky’s famous buffalo chicken dip around the Super Bowl season. It’s creamy, tangy, and just SUPER ADDICTIVE. It’s still one of my favorite things to eat no matter what season it is.

If you want to have a healthy twist on this delicious dip, feel free to swap sour cream with greek yogurt. It will still be as pleasant as this one without the guilt, but I will have my steaming hot buffalo chicken dip, watching this year’s Super Bowl!

Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8-12 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 3 pound of shredded rotisserie chicken

  • 1 1/2 cup buffalo sauce

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese

  • 1 scallion, chopped for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven at 350F.

  2. Whisk cream cheese and sour cream until it’s smooth.

  3. Combine the cream mixture with shredded rotisserie chicken. Pour buffalo sauce and mix everything together until it all comes together.

  4. Transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish. Top it with shredded cheese.

  5. Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the cheese layer gets dark and crispy.

  6. Once it’s done baking, garnish it with scallion.

  7. Serve it with chips, or crudités. Enjoy!

Souvlaki Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers

Souvlaki Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4

INGREDIENTS

Buttermilk chicken tender:

  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled

  • 1 tsp of salt

  • 1 tsp of dried oregano

  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 large chicken breast or thighs, cut into chunks

Drenching session:

  • 1 cup of AP flour

  • 1 tbsp of cumin

  • 1 tsp of Aleppo pepper

  • 1/2 tbsp of black pepper

  • 1 tbsp of salt

  • Cooking spray

Garlic labneh aioli:

  • 1/2 cup of labneh

  • 1/2 cup of mayo

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 garlic, grated

  • 1/2 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Marinate:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, salt, dried oregano, fresh thyme, lemon zest and juice, and eggs until well combined.

  2. Add the chicken to the buttermilk marinade and refrigerate for 2 hours — overnight.

Drenching:

  1. In a bowl, stir the four, cumin, Aleppo pepper, black pepper and salt.

  2. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture; drench in the flour until evenly coated. Transfer to the air fryer rack and spray the chicken with an oil spray.

  3. Transfer the chicken to the air fryer and air fry it at 375F until golden brown, for about 7 to 9 minutes.

  4. Transfer it to the plate, and serve it with garlic labneh aioli.

Garlic labneh aioli:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve it with fried chicken tenders!