Za’atar chicken on a sweet potato & squash mash, with rocket, orange and pomegranate salad

chicken za'tar2

Za’atar chicken, sweet potato, squash, orange and pomegranate

In this dish, I love the colour from the sweet potato and squash, along with the freshness of orange and pomegranate and the crunch of pine nuts. I used tenderloins, to keep it healthier and because well, that’s what I had in the freezer, but using skin-on chicken thighs would be excellent too.

The use of za’atar in this recipe means you need to do little else to make a super tasty meal. My za’atar came from the Saucy Spice company, made locally in beautiful Bega. They have a stall at the Kingston Bus Depo markets on Sundays.



Za’atar is actually a middle eastern herb, but it is commonly known as a mixture of herbs and spices. It can be made from a variety of herbs (though oregano, thyme, sumac and sesame seeds are usually there). Mine has sumac, oregano, thyme, marjoram, sesame seeds and orange peel).

Za’atar chicken on a sweet potato & squash mash, with rocket, orange and pomegranate salad

  • Difficulty: easy
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Serves 4



  • 450g chicken tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons (Tb) za’atar
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 Tb pomegranate molasses, or another strong syrup – I used reduced cherry syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 100 g rocket leaves
  • handful snowpea sprouts
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chucks
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cut into chunks
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 Tb cream
  • 2 Tb pine nuts (toasted)
  • ½ pomegranate, seeded
  • 1 orange, peeled with all pith removed, cut into thin slices


  • The day before, make a marinade for the chicken from the za’atar, salt and pepper, garlic, oil and cherry (or pomegranate) syrup. Place the tenderloins in a ziplock bag with the marinade, squidge it around a bit and leave in fridge overnight.
  • Turn on oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
  • Remove tenderloins from marinade and bake for about 30 minutes (turn half way through the cooking time).
  • On a separate tray, roast the sweet potato and squash, doused in a bit of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, until tender (approximately 30 minutes).
  • Once cooked, set aside the tenderloins to rest.
  • Once cooked, remove the sweet potato and squash from oven and mash together with the butter and cream. Using a stick blender, blend until thick and saucy. Add more cream or some olive oil to make it smoother if required.
  • Artistically smear the mash on a plate and place 3 to 4 tenderloins on top per serve.
  • Garnish with the orange, rocket, snowpea sprouts, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.

chicken za'atar

chicken za’atar


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