- 8 pieces excess fat trimmed bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/ 2 cups bite-size pieces carrots
- 3 pieces minced garlic cloves
- 2 pieces bay leaves
- 4 reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 sprigs lemon thyme sprigs
- 4 tablespoon za'atar
- 1 teaspoons ground paprika
- 1 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoons ground oregano
- 1 teaspoons ground sumac
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/ 2 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 cup to garnish pitted Greek Green Olives
- to garnish Lemon zest
- to garnish Fresh lemon thyme sprigs
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Combine in a small bowl the za'atar, sumac, smoked paprika, coriander, oregano, cumin, sea salt & pepper.
Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs. Rub them with the Mediterranean spice mixture getting into all the crevices. You will have some leftover (unused) spice mix. Keep it aside.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 TableSpoons of EVOO over medium-high. Brown chicken in two batches, placing skin side down for four minutes and then three minutes on the other side. Transfer to a plate.
Sautee the onions and carrots for 4-5 minutes and add some of the spice mix, garlic, tomato paste, and lentils. Make sure to mix well.
Add the chicken broth. Taste if needs more seasoning, and add more Mediterranean spice mix if so.
Bring the chicken thighs back to the pot and arrange them to make sure that most of the meat gets submerged in the liquid
Throw in the bay leaves and a couple lemon-thyme herbs (or regular thyme). Bring to simmer and cover.
Braise in the oven for 45 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender (at least 175°F).
Transfer chicken to a platter. Strain remaining mixture, reserving liquid. Add lentils and vegetables to chicken on platter and cover to keep warm.
Return liquid to pot and boil over medium-high heat for around 10-15 minutes until reduced by half.
For plating, put the lentils and carrots on the plate, add the chicken thighs, and then pour the reduced sauce over the chicken. Add the pitted green olives, lemon zest, and finish with some chopped lemon thyme.