Za'atar, a mixture of herbs traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking, takes this braised chicken recipe from basic to brilliant. Add French green lentils, chopped carrots, and green olives to make it a one-pot meal.




  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Season chicken with za'atar. In a deep oven-going skillet or 5-quart Dutch oven heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken; cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until brown. Transfer to a plate.

    Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and carrots to pot. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, lentils, and tomato paste. Return chicken and juices to pot. Bring to a simmer. Cover; braise in oven 45 to 55 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender (at least 175°F).

    Transfer chicken to a platter; keep warm. Strain remaining mixture, reserving liquid. Add lentils and vegetables to chicken on platter; cover. Return liquid to pot. Boil over medium-high 10 to15 minutes or until reduced by half. Pour liquid over chicken and lentils. Top with olives, lemon zest, and thyme. Makes 6 servings.

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French green lentils have a firm texture that holds up to longer cooking methods better than most other varieties so they won't turn to mush in a braise.

Nutrition Facts

587 calories, 24 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 12 g monounsaturated fat), 130 mg cholesterol, 941 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrates, 13 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 42 g protein.