Chicken Skewers With Zathar (Thyme and Sesame Marinade)

"This recipe comes from ‘Barbecue, delicious recipes for outdoor cooking’ by Louise Pickford. I'm often want to use thyme as I adore the smell. I thought this amount of thyme will make the recipe pungent but it actually taste yummy marinated with the chicken then barbecued and the flavour is strong but not overpowering. Time does not include Marinating time Update: I have had a few questions regarding the thyme leaves: use the leaves only for measurements (don't include steams) measure the leaves after it has been removed from the steams."
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Ready In:




  • Soak 8 wooden skewers in cold water for 30 minutes.
  • To make the zathar spice mix, put the sesame seeds into a dry frying pan and toast over medium heat until golden and aromatic. Remove, let cool then transfer to a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder). Add the thyme and salt and then blend to a coarse powder. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle. You will need 3 tablespoons for this recipe (put the remainder into an airtight container and keep in a cool place for future use).
  • Put the 3 tablespoons of zathar spice mix and olive oil into a shallow dish and mix well. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, add to the Zathar oil and toss well until coated. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat the barbecue, then thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked wooden skewers and cook over hot coal for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, let rest briefly, sprinkle with chilli oil and lemon juice and serve hot with salad or pita bread.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Delicious! I used all the ingredients listed but left them whole which did not alter the flavour in any way. I used chicken tenders. I stirred the thyme leaves and toasted sesame seeds into the olive oil, along with a generous sprinkling of red chili flakes and a 1/3 cup lemon juice then marinated the chicken tenders for 1/2 hour. These were then pan fried til golden-crispy on the outside and juicy-tender on the inside. Served this with stirfried vegetables and a wine rice recipe found on Zaar. This was a wonderful meal enjoyed by all and I will make this regularly.
  2. Tonight we experienced a restaurant quality meal with Chicken Skewers With Zathar served with Non- Creamy Potato Bake With Feta and Olives and a side salad. The lemon juice sprinkle over the top of the skewers is a must. Made for the Zaar Aus/NZ recipe swap #21 October 2008.
  3. Arabian lemon and thyme chicken is one of my favorite chicken dishes since the blend of flavors just mesh with the seasoning Zaatar since it really ups the flavor of bread or chicken hence making this was simply wonderful since in all its simplicity in preparing this easy skewer recipe (I already had the ready made Zaatar), the results were full of flavor with the meat cooking up nicely and tastewise were excellent that it's in one of my top skewer favorites. Thanks for sharing this, Chef fLower! Made and reviewed for Australia's Edition 4: MAKE MY RECIPE—a game of tag.
  4. Ithoroughly enjoyed this dish though the DH thought it was bit too strong with the time. It took 25 grams of lemon time to get 15 grams of leaves. I also used over 4 chicken breasts with a total weight of 900 grams (chopped and served on skewers) and served with steam vegetables and oven baked potatoes done in alfoil. I have enough zatar left for another go. I used a mortar and pestle and maybe didn't grind enough though at the time I thought I had and it wasn't until I mixed with the oil I realized I hadn't. Made for Edition 4 - Make My Recipe - a game of tag.
  5. Delicious! I already had some zaatar on hand so I used that rather than mix more. The lemon really brings out the flavor! Definitely a keeper! Thanks for posting.


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