Recipes: Za’atar-Roasted Chicken Tenders & Vegetables with Couscous
January 8, 2019
EatingWell Test Kitchen“Za’atar (or zaatar)—a Middle-Eastern spice blend that’s a mix of thyme, sumac, salt, sesame seeds and sometimes other herbs—gives this sheet-pan roast chicken recipe tons of flavor. Chicken tenders and pretrimmed green beans make this healthy dinner super-fast.”
1 medium navel orange
1 pound trimmed green beans
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
½ cup Kalamata or Castelvetrano olives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon za’atar (see Tip)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
⅔ cup whole-wheat couscous
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Grate 2 teaspoons zest from the orange. Slice ½ inch off the ends and squeeze juice from them into a medium saucepan; add the zest. Set aside.
Cut the rest of the orange in half then cut into ¼-inch slices. Toss in a large bowl with green beans, onion, olives, oil, wine, salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the prepared pan. Toss chicken with za’atar in the bowl, then place on top of the green bean mixture.
Roast on the bottom rack until the green beans are tender and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add broth and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper to the saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the chicken and vegetables.
Spice blends like za’atar give you big flavor from just one ingredient. A mix of thyme, sumac, salt, sesame seeds and sometimes other herbs, look for it in the bulk spice section of natural-food stores, in specialty-food stores or on amazon.com. To make your own mix: Blend 1 tsp. each ground sumac, sesame seeds and dried thyme with ¼ tsp. salt.
Chicken tenders require zero prep (just rip open the package) and cook in a snap because they’re so thin, which makes them perfect for fast weeknight meals. The tender is typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but can also be purchased separately.
Many whole grains take 30-plus minutes to cook, but whole-wheat couscous is ready in five. It’s a flavor sponge, so serve with a saucy dish or try stirring fresh herbs or citrus juice into it, as we do here. If you don’t like the taste of whole-wheat, don’t worry—it’s mellow in couscous.
Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.