Crispy Za’atar Chicken Tenders with Sweet Potatoes & Preserved Lemon Labneh

Crispy Za’atar Chicken Tenders

with Sweet Potatoes & Preserved Lemon Labneh

35 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

We’re putting a sophisticated spin on classic chicken fingers by coating these tenders in a smooth tempura batter seasoned with herby za’atar—a traditional Middle Eastern blend of spices that features thyme, oregano, sumac, and more. A side of bright, creamy lemon labneh makes for the ideal dipper for the tenders, plus our simple sides of roasted sweet potatoes and crisp cucumbers.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    620 Cals (est.)
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Crispy Za’atar Chicken Tenders with Sweet Potatoes & Preserved Lemon Labneh
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tips & techniques
Prepare & roast the sweet potatoes:
1 Prepare & roast the sweet potatoes:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch-wide wedges. Place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer, skin side down. Roast 27 to 29 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

Marinate the cucumbers & make the lemon labneh:
2 Marinate the cucumbers & make the lemon labneh:

While the sweet potatoes roast, quarter the cucumbers lengthwise, then halve crosswise. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar and sugar; whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cucumber pieces; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. In a separate bowl, combine the labneh and lemon purée; season with salt and pepper. 

Make the batter & coat the chicken:
3 Make the batter & coat the chicken:

While the cucumbers marinate, in a medium bowl, whisk together the tempura mix, all but a pinch of the za’atar, and 1/4 cup of cold water. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the seasoned chicken to the batter; stir to thoroughly coat. 

Cook the chicken & serve your dish:
4 Cook the chicken & serve your dish:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high. Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added, add the coated chicken in an even layer (letting the excess batter drip off). Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt and the remaining za’atar. Serve the cooked chicken with the roasted sweet potatoes and marinated cucumbers. Serve the lemon labneh on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare & roast the sweet potatoes:
1 Prepare & roast the sweet potatoes:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch-wide wedges. Place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer, skin side down. Roast 27 to 29 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

2 Marinate the cucumbers & make the lemon labneh:

While the sweet potatoes roast, quarter the cucumbers lengthwise, then halve crosswise. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar and sugar; whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cucumber pieces; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. In a separate bowl, combine the labneh and lemon purée; season with salt and pepper. 

Marinate the cucumbers & make the lemon labneh:
Make the batter & coat the chicken:
3 Make the batter & coat the chicken:

While the cucumbers marinate, in a medium bowl, whisk together the tempura mix, all but a pinch of the za’atar, and 1/4 cup of cold water. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the seasoned chicken to the batter; stir to thoroughly coat. 

4 Cook the chicken & serve your dish:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high. Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added, add the coated chicken in an even layer (letting the excess batter drip off). Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt and the remaining za’atar. Serve the cooked chicken with the roasted sweet potatoes and marinated cucumbers. Serve the lemon labneh on the side. Enjoy!

Cook the chicken & serve your dish:
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