Za’atar Fried Chicken
(photography by Sarka Babicka)
I have been away from this blog for too long. In fact, it’s been the longest (2 months!) I’ve gone without posting. The last 4 months have been superbly stressful, manic and just all around insane. So much has happened and I have been incredibly busy working on a multitude of projects some you’ll hear about today and others soon. I’m happy to say that I’m finally beginning to find more time on my hands and can now resume regular posting.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that the Taste Lebanon-spring edition came to a successful close and tomorrow I’m on my way to Lebanon, again. As the founder of the Taste Lebanon boutique culinary tours, the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism has asked me to organise and lead a press trip for a handful of UK journalist so they can discover our incomparable country through a real, honest and off-the beaten path experience. The trip is in honour of Great British Week celebrations hosted by the British Embassy in Lebanon and I am ‘high as a kite’ to have been gifted such a magnificent opportunity. I hope I do our country justice. If you’re interested in joining the upcoming October edition of the tour, head on over to the Taste Lebanon website and sign up to the waitlist (bottom right hand side). We’ll be announcing the dates shortly.
Something else that I and the team have been working on is the annual food bloggers conference. Food Blogger Connect (#FBC12) is the world’s leading international food blogging conference and it’s back again with a vengeance! We have an array of talented and award-winning speakers like Dianne Jacob of Will Write for Food, Ellen Silverman the photographer behind Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, Felicity Cloak the award-winning columnist for the Guardian and so many more. The topics are varied, fresh and appeal to all levels of food bloggers with special workshops, hands-on sessions and general talks all on offer. If the previous years are anything to go by then you can expect this year to knock your socks off. So, my very dear readers and fellow food bloggers I am enthused to announce that I’m sponsoring 1 person to attend #FBC12 under the SOLD OUT “this is insane, I want access to everything” package worth £499. The giveaway is open to both already registered #FBC12 attendees as well as #FBC12 hopeful attendees from anywhere in the world. If an already registered winner is selected their fees paid to Food Blogger Connect will be refunded.
The Prize: 1 winner will receive a Food Blogger Connect full weekend pass with access to all workshops. Yup, it’s insane!
How to Enter: You can select any of the below entries as listed below and doing them all will add to your points. You can tweet about the giveaway once a day.
Rules & Details
- This giveaway is open to all readers all around the world. Enter now through June 21st, 2012.
- The winner will be selected by random.org and announced on Dirtykitchensecrets.com by June 25th.
- The winner will be contacted by e-mail and should they not respond within 72 hours another winner may be selected.
- The giveaway is open to both already registered #FBC12 attendees as well as #FBC12 hopeful attendees from anywhere in the world.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this wicked recipe for za’atar fried chicken!
This fried chicken brings together my Lebanese and Texan backgrounds without any clash of flavours. Double dipping the chicken legs into the batter creates a great steaming pouch, which yields more juicy meat and more crunch factor. The yogurt adds a lovely tang and new dimension. I wouldn’t have thought I’d be one to say this; but I prefer it to the traditional contender, buttermilk. Za’atar can be purchased from most supermarkets or can otherwise be found at your local Middle Eastern grocer. I find this fried chicken tastes better at room temperature; which makes it perfect picnic grub.
Serves 4 as a starter
- 1 egg
- 125ml/4fl oz/1/2 cup yogurt
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp za’atar
- 2 tsp sumac
- 115g/4 oz flour
- 80g/2 3/4 oz pako breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 4 chicken legs, skin on
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg, with the yogurt, garlic, salt, za’atar, and sumac. Into a ziplock bag, add the flour, breadcrumbs, salt, and allspice. Seal the bag and shake to combine. Toss chicken legs in the yogurt mixture, coat well (you could leave to marinate overnight at this step), then transfer into the flour bag and shake well to coat.Transfer to a plate, and set aside in the fridge so it all sets about 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and dunk the chicken legs back into the yogurt mixture and finally toss in the flour mixture. Repeat with all chicken legs.
- Meanwhile, heat enough oil for deep frying in a pan and when the temperature reaches 170C/325F carefully add the chicken legs, being sure not to overcrowd (if you decide to double the recipe for example) and cook for 10-15 minutes on each side, till golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 180C/350F. Serve warm or at room temperature with garlic sauce.