Zaatar Fried Chicken with Spicy Thyme Honey Recipe

Zaatar Fried Chicken with Spicy Thyme Honey Recipe

Ingredients 

For the chicken and brine:   

4 cups soy milk 

juice of 1/2 lemon 

1 peeled, seeded and halved lemon 

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1/2 cup honey 

2 cups hot water 

1/3 cup kosher salt 

6 tablespoons zaatar 

6 bay leaves 

3 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife 

6 sprigs of thyme 

4 chicken thighs 

4 chicken drumsticks  

 

For the flour mixture: 

3 cups all purpose flour 

2 teaspoons baking powder 

2 tablespoons zaatar 

3 sprigs thyme 

1 teaspoon sumac 

1 tablespoon hot paprika 

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1 quart canola or vegetable oil, for frying 

 

For the spicy thyme honey: 

1/2 cup honey 

2 tablespoons hot sauce 

2 tablespoons chili oil 

3 sprigs thyme 

a few peppercorns 

 Directions

In a large food safe container, add the soy milk and the juice of a 1/2 lemon. Let it sit until it curdles, around 10 minutes. This is your “buttermilk.”  

To the buttermilk, add the peeled, seeded and halved lemon. Crumble in the bay leaves. Add in the zaatar, smashed garlic and thyme.  

Dissolve the salt in the hot water. This is the brine. Dissolve the honey in the brine. Add the brine to the container, along with the buttermilk and spices.  

Add the chicken to the brine. Refrigerate for 1 day.  

The next day, combine the flour, baking powder, zaatar, thyme, sumac and paprika and the salt in large bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine.  

Remove chicken from buttermilk brine, but do not throw away the brine.  

Coat the wet chicken in a thin layer of the flour mixture, and let come to room temperature on drying rack set over paper towels. (Cold chicken in hot oil will cause splatters and lower the temperature of the oil as well.)  

Heat the oil to 370 degrees in large cast iron or heavy bottomed pot. Once chicken is close to room temperature, dip in the reserved buttermilk brine and then in the flour mixture once more, then drop gently into the hot oil.  

Fry 3 pieces at a time. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and until instant read thermometer inserted into chicken reaches 165.  

Remove from oil and sprinkle with fresh thyme. In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients for the spicy honey. Let come to a boil. Serve drizzled over the hot chicken, immediately.

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