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Crispy Za'atar Chicken Tenders

with Sweet Potatoes & Preserved Lemon Labneh

  • Group Created with Sketch.
    Time
    35 min
  • icon_serves Created with Sketch.
    Servings
    2
  • icon_cals Created with Sketch.
    Nutrition
    Est. 600 calories

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, tart sumac, and more.

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fresh
ingredients
Crispy Za'atar Chicken Tenders with Sweet Potatoes & Preserved Lemon Labneh
Title
  • ¾ lb Chicken Tenders
  • 1 lb Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Persian Cucumbers
  • ¼ cup Tempura Mix
  • 1 tsp Preserved Lemon Purée
  • ½ cup Labneh Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Za'atar Seasoning (Ground Sumac, Sesame Seeds, Salt, Ground Thyme, Whole Dried Oregano & Crushed Aleppo Pepper)
step-by-step
instructions
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 22 to 24 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

Marinate the cucumbers & make the sauce:
2 Marinate the cucumbers & make the sauce:

While the sweet potatoes roast, quarter the cucumbers lengthwise, then halve crosswise. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar and sugar; stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cucumber pieces; season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. 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 before adding). 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 sauce on the side. Enjoy! 

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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 22 to 24 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

2 Marinate the cucumbers & make the sauce:

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

Marinate the cucumbers & make the sauce:
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 before adding). 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 sauce on the side. Enjoy! 

Cook the chicken & serve your dish: