Buttermilk Marinade with Za’atar

Classic technique and ancient ingredients come together here to take your chicken to another level with this Mediterranean marinade recipe.
Photo by Susie Cushner

Courtesy Liz Pearson

This is a slight twist on the classic technique of using buttermilk in your chicken marinade to more effectively tenderize the meat and retain moisture. Here we utilize a unique and versatile Mediterranean seed and spice blend called za’atar to deepen the natural flavors.

How to Roast a Chicken Three Ways
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar (Mediterranean herb and sesame seed mix, available at specialty markets)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Directions

In medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Turn chicken in marinade to coat well. Cover and refrigerate from 8 hours to overnight, turning chicken once or twice.

Shake off excess marinade from chicken and discard marinade. Roast chicken according to instructions.

Pair It

Ben Kaufman is the general manager at Barano in Brooklyn, New York. He created the beverage program for the Italian pizza, pasta and wood-fired rotisserie restaurant, so this Mediterranean-flavored bird sings to him. He recommends Caravaglio’s 2015 Malvasia Bianco Secca (Salina). “It has wonderful floral aromatics and peach notes, as well as a beautiful salinity, due to the large salt—farming industry on the island. The salinity will play nicely with the buttermilk…and the island herbs on the palate of the wine will enhance the Mediterranean flare of the za’atar.”

Published on February 3, 2017
About the Author
Layla Schlack
Senior Editor

Schlack has written and edited stories about cooking, dining, spirits, entertaining and travel, as well as developed recipes, in various editorial roles at Fine Cooking and Hemispheres. Her writing has won a NATJA award. When she’s not editing Wine Enthusiast’s food, spirits and entertaining stories, she can usually be found clanging around her Connecticut kitchen, beverage in hand, trying to re-create some tasty meal she’s had over the course of her travels. Email: lschlack@wineenthusiast.net



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