Roasted Chicken with Za’atar Stuffing


Every cook should know how to roast a chicken properly. The process is one of the most basic recipes and a good, roast chicken is one of my favorite things to cook and eat. The stuffing in this recipe contains a fantastic Middle-Eastern spice blend called “Za’atar” and is a combination of dried herbs like basil, thyme, oregano and also sesame seeds.

Serves 4


Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Remove the wings and reserve.

Combine the bread, minced garlic, za’atar, parsley and lemon zest in a mixing bowl with the olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper and fill with the stuffing. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Season the bird on

Place the wings in a roasting pan and place the chicken on top of the wings. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes; turn the oven temperature down to 350°F; add the garlic cloves and continue cooking for 25-30 more minutes or until the juices run clear when the leg is pierced. Remove the chicken to a platter and let it rest at least 10 minutes.

Carve the chicken by removing the leg and thigh at the joint, then run the carving knife down one side of the breast bone and continue by following the ribcage, lifting the breast meat away from the bone. Repeat with the other side. Slice the breast meat and leg meat. Serve 2 slices of each with some of the stuffing on a plate. Spoon some of the drippings over the chicken and serve immediately.



1 (4 pound) chicken
1 ½ cup diced crusty bread
1 tablespoon minced garlic + 1 head of garlic
2 teaspoons za’atar spice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper