This lovely Middle Eastern pilaf is topped with marinated zaatar chicken. We’ve used chicken thigh because it has such great flavour and won’t dry out. It’s just great when paired with mint too!
Middle Eastern spice blend
baby spinach leaves
1 packetfree range chicken thighs
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Bring a full kettle of water to the boil. Finely chop the brown onion. Finely slice the *leek. Peel and finely grate the garlic. Rinse the basmati rice well. Roughly shred the baby spinach leaves. Finely chop the mint leaves.
In a medium bowl, combine the free-range chicken thigh with a drizzle of olive oil and the zaatar. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat and set aside to marinate.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and leek and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and Middle eastern spice blend and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
Add the basmati rice and currants to the pan with the onion and stir to coat in the spices. Add the water (check ingredients list for the amount) and crumble in the chicken stock cube. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the rice is soft and the liquid has been absorbed. Add the salt (use suggested amount) and stir through the baby spinach leaves.
While the pilaf is cooking, heat a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken thigh and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer the chicken to the oven tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven to cook for 14 minutes, or until cooked through. TIP: The chicken is cooked when it is no longer pink inside. Slice into 2 cm strips.
While the chicken is in the oven, cut the zucchini into 2 cm cubes. Return the medium pan to a medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil and the zucchini. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer the zucchini to the pan with the pilaf and stir through to combine.
Divide the rice pilaf between bowls and top with slices of zaatar chicken. Sprinkle over the mint.