Autumn Gluten Free Main Dishes Recipes Spring Summer Winter

Chicken Drumsticks with Honey, Za’atar and Lemon

July 11, 2022

This is a deeply delicious marinade that’s a kind of riff on sweet and sour. The addition of fresh ginger and chilli adds a little mild heat. A dish that’s enjoyable both hot and cold.


(Serves 4)

1 tbsp za’atar (see notes below)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 fresh red chilli, seeds removed & finely chopped

Or 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes (optional)

sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper

4 x Chicken drumsticks (approx. 780 g)

30 g unsalted butter

1/3 cup white wine or verjuice or water

½ tsp sesame seeds, to garnish

1 tsp chives, finely chopped to garnish

Lime wedges, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 200˚c.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the za’atar, cumin, ginger, honey and lemon juice with a little salt and pepper until a thick marinade.
  3. Place the chicken drumsticks into the bowl and toss to evenly coat.
  4. Heat a heavy-based roasting dish on top of the stove and melt the butter.
  5. Gently brown the chicken pieces in the butter before pouring in the wine.
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the chicken pieces over and bake another 20 minutes until the chicken is a deep caramelized colour and the cooking juices have reduced until syrupy.
  8. Serve garnished with sesame seeds, finely chopped chives and lime wedges.

Serving Notes

  • Za’atar is both the name of a single herb and a Middle Eastern blend of dried herbs, sesame seeds, sumac (a spice made from a ground dried berry that has a lemony taste) and salt. It is available already mixed in well-stocked supermarkets or from gourmet grocers or you can make your own: 2 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tbsp dried marjoram or oregano, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tbsp sumac, ½ tsp salt.
  • Za’atar can also be enjoyed as a dip with bread and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Serve with French-style green lentils or rice and steamed greens.

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