A one pan meal, zaatar flavoured chicken falling off the bone cooked with lentils, carrots, onions and celery. Perfect for a mid week meal


Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 45 mins Total Time 1 hr
Servings: 2
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Store cupboard meets fridge odds and ends in the delicious one pan meal, which is perfect mid week. 

I nearly always have celery, onions, and carrots in my fridge. And my store cupboard will always yield a tin of lentils. But if you don't have tinned lentils, use dried ones. Rinse and boil till tender and set aside to use in recipe. 

Options: you can add roasted aubergines or butternut squash to this for extra flavour or if you need to bulk out any leftovers.

Add lots of finely chopped parsley, coriander and mint for a twist.  

Veggie version: Use seasoned and fried tofu or large portobello mushrooms which have been seasoned and fried instead of chicken. 

Watch my You Tube video for inspiration!




  1. Trim your chicken thighs, but leave the skin on. Make a couple of deep cuts on top. 

    Season with salt pepper, zaatar and paprika. set aside for atleast 15 mins (or more if you can prep ahead.)

    Heat 2 tbs oil in a wide, heavy pan. Dust the chicken  lightly with flour and fry on med-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes, browning it on both sides.

    Remove from the pan and set aside. 

  2. In the same pan, add the remaining oil, onions, celery and carrots and saute on medium heat for about 5/6 mins until tender. 

    Add the garlic and tomato puree and continue to sautee until the oil separates

  3. Add the tin of lentils with their water. If you have cooked yours at home, add a little water with them. 

    Cook for a few minutes. 

  4. Now add all the dry spices: the paprika, turmeric, ground cumin and coriander, and sumac. Stir and bring to a boil.

    Stir in the bouillon powder  (your choice of veg or chicken) Add the lemon juice.

    Check for salt and pepper and add more if needed. Remember, the bouillon is salty and the lemon will also add flavour.

  5. Arrange the chicken back in the pot. 

    Cover, reduce the heat and simmer/cook for 25/30 mins till chicken is tender. 

    Check and stir during the cooking process and add a little water if needed.

    You want all the flavours to have come together. It shouldn't be watery.  

    Garnish: Add a sprinkle of paprika and fresh chopped herbs before serving. You could also garnish with a drizzle of plain yogurt.

    Serve with rice or some soft bread if you prefer. 

Keywords: Chicken, lentils carrots, celery, onions, zaatar, stock, seasoning, herbs
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