Orange Za’atar Chicken
4 chicken bottoms or 6 chicken thighs
2 tbsp oil, divided
1 tbsp zaatar
1 onion, sliced into circles, keep all the layers together
Preheat the oven to 400. Place the cast iron pan in the oven to heat. Zest the orange and set the zest aside. Then peel the orange, and slice the fruit into circles. Remove the pan from the oven (use a potholder whenever handling the pan, it will be hot). Place 1 tbsp of oil in the bottom of the cast iron. Line the pan with the circles of onions. Top the onions with the orange slices. Place the chicken on top of the onions and oranges. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then using the remaining oil, rub it over the chicken. Mix together the orange zest and zaatar and rub that over the chicken as well. Place the chicken in the oven, uncovered at 400 for 45 minutes to an hour. After 45 minutes, check with a meat thermometer- make sure the chicken is at least 160 degrees and the juices run clear. There will be carryover cooking when it comes out of the oven, and that will allow it to hit the required 165 to be safe. When it is cooked, remove from the oven, and top it with a loose piece of foil for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan. Using a fork, mash the orange and onion at the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and use a spoon to top the chicken with the onion, orange and juices at the bottom of the pan.
If not eating right away, chicken and pan sauce can be transferred to a 9×13 pan to be reheated later.