Za’atar chicken with sweet tomato relish

Za’atar chicken with sweet tomato relish

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons za’atar
1 tablespoon ground sumac
8 skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons plain flour
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

For the sweet tomato relish

Quantity Ingredient
1 red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
100ml white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
small handful coriander
100g soft brown sugar
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
pinch crushed dried chillies
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
generous pinch salt


  1. Combine the za’atar and sumac and roll the chicken thighs in this spice mixture, patting it over them to ensure an even coating. Cover and leave in the fridge for 1–2 hours, to allow time for the flavours to penetrate.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the relish, halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion, cover and sweat for 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the wine vinegar and cook gently for a further 10 minutes. Peel and crush the garlic and roughly chop the coriander.
  3. Add the garlic, sugar, tomatoes, chillies, mustard seeds and salt, and simmer gently for 40–45 minutes until thick and syrupy, then set aside to cool.
  4. Heat the oven to 190°C.
  5. Place the flour with plenty of salt and pepper in a plastic food bag and toss the chicken thighs in it, making sure they are covered all over with a thin layer of flour.
  6. Heat enough olive oil in a wide, heavy-based frying pan to thinly coat the bottom. Add the chicken thighs and fry until lightly golden all over. Transfer to a roasting tin and cook for 10–15 minutes, or until cooked through. Check by cutting to the bone on the underside; the juices should run clear.
  7. Stir the coriander into the relish and adjust the seasoning. Serve with the hot chicken. This dish is delicious served with avocado fattoush.


  • The relish can be made up to a week in advance, but the coriander must be added just before serving.
Leiths School of food and wine
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