Za'atar Crusted Chicken Thighs with Briny Farro Salad
This dish feature crisp Za'atar Crusted Chicken Thighs draped over a farro salad studded with blistered cherry tomatoes, olives, and capers and dressed in a tangy anchovy vinaigrette.
Cast iron skillet
mortar and pestle
Briny Farro Salad
- 255g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cups cooked farro
- 1 cup assorted olives pitted
- 3 tbsp capers heaping
- ½ cup fresh parsley coarsely chopped
Za'atar Crusted Chicken Thighs
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 4 egg whites beaten
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup za'atar
- neutral oil for frying
- lemon wedges for serving
For the Briny Farro Salad
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and place the tomatoes on top. Drizzle the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Place the tomatoes in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Place the garlic, anchovies, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt in a mortar and pestle and grind the ingredients to form a paste. Alternatively, you could use a food processor for this.
Transfer the paste to a bowl and whisk in the remaining olive oil, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, place the farro, olives, and capers. Add the tomatoes you roasted earlier and the parsley. Pour the dressing over top and toss to coat. Cover and chill the salad until ready to serve.
For the Chicken Thighs
Open each chicken thigh up, so it lays flat. Place the thigh on a piece of parchment paper and place another piece of parchment paper over top. Using a kitchen mallet, flatten the chicken until it's 1/4 of an inch thick. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and set aside.
Place the panko breadcrumbs and za'atar in a pie plate and whisk to combine. Dip the chicken thighs in the egg whites before rolling them in the panko mixture. Transfer the breaded thighs to a plate and set aside.
Heat an inch of neutral oil (I used canola oil) in a large cast-iron skillet until shimmering. Add 2-3 thighs to the pan and fry until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the thighs to a cooling rack suspended over a baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with additional salt and za'atar. Keep the chicken warm in a low oven until ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining thighs.