It has been a little while since I posted Ottolenghi’s recipe for Turkey Zucchini Burgers.  A flavor packed dish that uses both fresh and dried herbs not usually found in my kitchen.  Tangy sumac, refreshing mint, thyme and parsley,  a welcome addition to my familiar repertoire of flavors.  Now my only problem is…

I need more recipes that use these lovely herbs and spices.

NYT cooking recently posted a recipe for Middle Eastern Herb and Garlic Chicken.  Woohoo, and wouldn’t you know it, the recipe uses many of the same seasonings as the turkey burgers.  It’s totally delicious.  We were in the mood for sandwiches so I marinaded boneless chicken thighs while Wes fired up the grill. I found some nice crusty rolls and threw together a tomato, cucumber and onion salad to go along with our sandwiches.  I couldn’t wait for the chicken to come off the grill.


The lemon and garlic provide the one two punch and the fresh herbs kick it up another couple of notches, it’s like a party in your mouth.

There is quite bit of lemon juice in the marinade and because of this I opted to marinade the chicken for just a couple of hours.  I don’t think it is necessary to marinade it for much longer than that.

We topped the chicken with a yogurt sauce flavored with lemon zest and garlic.  I threw in a dash of sumac for good measure.  It’s great as a dip or as a spread for our sandwiches. To highlight the sesame seeds I would add a touch of sesame oil (dark) to both the marinade and yogurt sauce.

Before summer ends and we cover the grill for winter,  I plan to make this chicken again.  Lucky for us here in California that won’t be for quite awhile!




Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken


    This recipe is adapted from NYTcooking with Melissa Clark
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or marjoram
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, more for garnish (optional)
  • ¾ teaspoon sumac, more for garnish (optional)
  • ⅔ cup plain Greek yogurt, preferably whole milk yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • optional, dash of sesame oil in marinade


  • Combine chicken with all but 1 teaspoon of the grated garlic (save that teaspoon for the yogurt sauce), the zest and juice of 1 lemon, oil, parsley, mint, thyme, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the sesame seeds and sumac, if using.
  • Cover and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature; you can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.
  • Heat grill or broiler. If grilling, cook chicken over high heat until charred in spots, 4 to 7 minutes. Flip pieces and continue grilling until just cooked through, another 4 to 7 minutes.
  • If broiling, arrange a rack 3 to 4 inches from flame. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spread chicken out in a single layer. Broil chicken, turning halfway through cooking, until well colored and charred in spots, 4 to 7 minutes per side. Be careful that it doesn’t burn.
  • While chicken cooks, place yogurt in a small bowl. Stir in the reserved grated garlic and lemon zest and season to taste with salt. Serve the chicken drizzled with olive oil, remaining lemon juice to taste, black pepper, parsley and sesame seeds and sumac, if using, with the yogurt alongside for dipping.
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