This chicken dish would be excellent for weeknight dinners, but can also be something special to serve to friends. Most parts can be prepped ahead of time, and the chicken can marinate for 24 hours if you need it to. Spread out as much of the load of this multi-step recipe however best suits your time. My tip would be to save the chicken and rice pilaf for as close to serving as possible.
Dukkah is an aromatic Egyptian spice blend that tastes earthy and a tad bit sweet. It typically consists of hazelnuts and seeds, and it’s a wonderful seasoning for poultry and in dressings for salads.
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In this recipe, I ask you to create the spice blend from scratch, however, if you don’t have time and can find it pre-blended in the spice aisle, by all means. I do encourage you to make it from scratch and store until needed, especially if you want to get your toes wet in making your own spice blends. However, I would never judge any shortcuts you can take to make cooking at home easy and approachable.
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- 0.25 cups pistachios
- 0.25 cups hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp coriander seed
- 2 tbsp sesame seed
- 1 tbsp cumin seed
- 1 tbsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp salt
- 0.5 tsp garlic powder
- Toast everything but the salt and garlic powder over medium heat. Stir frequently until seasoning is aromatic, about 2-3 minutes.
- Place toasted seasonings, salt, and garlic powder in a food processor. Pulse until a course, sand-like texture is achieved.
- Place in an airtight container and store for up to 2 weeks.
Don’t be afraid! I call for boneless to make your life easier, however, if you don’t mind bone-in chicken, this is absolutely the best way to cook chicken. Get skin-on or off, whatever you prefer.
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This is one of my favorite techniques for pieces of meat or poultry that have a creamy marinade. This is because the moisture has enough time to cook off without ruining the potential sear. It’s called a reverse sear because it’s exactly as it sounds, cook the meat through in the oven, then sear both sides on a screaming hot surface.
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- 1.5 lb Boneless Chicken Thighs
- .25 cups Freshly Ground Dukkah Seasoning (for the chicken thighs)
- .25 cups Olive Oil (for the chicken thighs)
- .25 cups 5% fat Yogurt (such as Fage) (for the chicken thighs)
- .5 Lemon, Juiced (for the chicken thighs)
- 1 cups Orzo (for the rice pilaf)
- 4 Garlic Cloves (for the rice pilaf)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil (for the rice pilaf)
- .75 cups Long Grain White Rice, rinsed (for the rice pilaf)
- 4 cups Chicken Broth (for the rice pilaf)
- Heavy Pinches of Salt (for the rice pilaf)
- 1 Small Bunch of Parsley, chopped (for the rice pilaf)
- 1 cups Yogurt (for the Dukkah Yogurt Sauce)
- 2 tbsp Sour Cream (for the Dukkah Yogurt Sauce)
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced (for the Dukkah Yogurt Sauce)
- .5 Lemon, juiced (for the Dukkah Yogurt Sauce)
- 1 tsp Salt (for the Dukkah Yogurt Sauce)
- 2 tbsp Dukkah (for the Dukkah Yogurt Sauce)
- 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil (for the Dukkah Yogurt Sauce)
- .5 tsp Sugar (for the Dukkah Yogurt Sauce)
- Olive Oil thin and to garnish (for the Dukkah Yogurt Sauce)
- 1 Package Naan, toasted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix dukkah, olive oil, yogurt and salt. Massage into chicken thighs and set aside to marinate at least 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- To prepare the rice pilaf, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and cook garlic for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add orzo and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 1 qt. of chicken broth to the garlic and orzo and bring to a boil. Add long grain white rice and two heavy pinches of salt. Stir, cover and let cook or about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let steam for 10 minutes, or until ready to serve. If any rice burns to the bottom of the pot, try to leave it and not scrape it up as your fluff the rice. Fluff the rice pilaf while adding freshly chopped parsley when ready to serve.
- To prepare the carrots, arrange both bunches of carrots in a row and drizzle with olive oil and a heavy pinch of both salt and dukkah. Give the pan a good shake and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. While the carrots bake, combine all of the dukkah yogurt sauce ingredients in a bowl. Drizze olive oil until it reaches a spreadable consistency, garnish with more olive oil, salt, and pistachios. Set aside. After the carrots have cooked for about 20 minutes, arrange the chicken thighs in the middle of the sheet pan, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, and heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and reverse sear the chicken thighs by placing them top down to cook for about 5 minutes. When it’s time to flip the thighs, they should release from the pan without too much fuss. Don’t force them off the pan or you’ll lose the sear to the pan. Let sit for about 5 minutes and then slice with the “grain” of the chicken. To serve, layer rice pilaf, carrots, and chicken thighs on a plate. Scoop a dollop of dukkah yogurt sauce, a few cranks of freshly ground salt, and any remaining parsley. Serve with dukkah yogurt sauce and naan. Enjoy!