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"Halal Cart" Grill Roasted Chicken With Za'atar

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  • mnavarre
    Club Member
    • Jan 2018
    • 541
    • San Diego

    "Halal Cart" Grill Roasted Chicken With Za'atar

    Made this last night and want to get it written down before I forget what I did, because dayum was it good. It's basically this recipe adapted for a whole chicken roasted spatchcocked on the Weber.

    Marinade:
    Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 TBSP)
    1 TBSP Oregano, but adjust to taste. I used about 2 TBSP of dried Mexican oregano because I couldn't find fresh.
    1 Tsp ground coriander
    Garlic. I used 5 cloves, but you do you. Garlic is a personal choice. Rough chop it.
    Olive oil, enough to make about 1/2 cup
    Salt & pepper. Pretty heavy on both.

    Put everything in something that works for your immersion blender and blitz it until it's an emulsion. Loosen the skin on the breast and thighs of the chicken and rub marinade under the skin, rub the outside of the chicken with more marinade. Put Mr. Chook in the fridge and let him hang out for at least an hour. Meanwhile, make the sauce.

    Sauce:
    1/2 cup mayo
    1/2 cup Greek yogurt
    Garlic (Again, you do you. I used about 1 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. I got lazy, don't judge.)
    2 TBSP white vinegar
    1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
    1-2 TBSP sumac
    Lemon juice, salt, & pepper to taste

    Mix everything together and let it hang out in the fridge. I'd wait on adding the lemon juice until the sauce has time to come together since the sumac has a lemony flavor.

    Great, we're good for a while. Grab a beer.

    OK, so once the chicken has marinated for an hour or so set your weapon of choice up to run around 350 F. Sprinkle a good coat of Za'atar on both sides of the chicken. I didn't run any wood, but a small chunk of citrus wood might actually be nice. Cook until you're about 15-20 degrees of being done and then open everything up to try and crisp up the skin as best we can with that wet marinade.

    While you're waiting on the chicken, make the rice. And here I'm just going to refer you to the Serious Eats recipe up top. Just make the rice just like that, it's fantastic.

    Once the chicken's done, carve and serve with rice, salad (or tabouleh), and pita, top with the sauce and some harrisa hot sauce.

    Enjoy.


    A note on doing this on the PBC:
    I've tried hanging halved chickens with a wet marinade a few times in the PBJr., and the marinade just seems to drip off. It usually just ends up tasting like PBC chicken, not really like what I was shooting for. If I was going to do this on a PBC, i'd spatchcock and cook on the grate, but YMMV.

  • TripleB
    Club Member
    • May 2017
    • 693
    • La Crescenta
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      BBQ Guru ATC
      Favorite Beer: Peroni
      Favorite Sports Teams: Rams, Dodgers, Kings, UCLA Bruins

    #2
    This sounds great. Wish there were some pics. Will put this down on my cook list for this weekend or next week. We’ll serve it with the rice, tabouleh, hummus, pita and pickled beets. Thanks for the recipe.

    Comment


    • mnavarre
      mnavarre commented
      Editing a comment
      I wish I'd taken some pics, but it was just kinda "making dinner" at the time. No matter what my wife thinks I don't actually take pictures of all my food. Just like 97%.
  • JoeSousa
    Club Member
    • Sep 2016
    • 876
    • Spokane, WA

    #3
    I have loved the halal cart chicken for years since I first had it in NYC. I have tried a ton of modifications on the recipes trying to get it just right.

    I think for the chicken there are a lot of ways to get close to the real thing. But for the white sauce the closest I have gotten is just mayo, vinegar, a bit of water to thin it down, and salt and pepper. I have tried yogurt, tried more seasonings, and about 20 different combinations but mayo and vinegar is the closest I have come. I remember looking at the ingredients on some of the packets at one of the Halal Guys franchise locations and it soybean and/or canola oil, egg yolk, vinegar, water, salt, sugar, natural flavors, black pepper, disodium EDTA, xantham gum and sodium benzoate. So basically mayo, vinegar, and some seasonings. Again, there are probably 20 different recipes that would taste delicious.

    Here is how I have done my halal chicken in the past: http://completecarnivore.com/my-take...s-street-meat/ And this reminds me I need to make it again and update that post.

    Comment


    • JoeSousa
      JoeSousa commented
      Editing a comment
      I have been using less and less yogurt in the chicken marinade too. Sometimes I skip it all together.

    • mnavarre
      mnavarre commented
      Editing a comment
      Somehow I think I've run across your recipe at some point, bookmarked now anyway. I've never had NYC halal cart chicken, so I wasn't shooting for authentic, just good. I was basically kitbashing three or four recipes together, so just kinda winging it.

    • JoeSousa
      JoeSousa commented
      Editing a comment
      mnavarre yeah, there are a ton of ways to turn out some great halal style chicken. No right or wrong way at all, just a bunch of different paths to get to the final destination.
  • DiverDriver
    Club Member
    • May 2019
    • 270
    • Fort Wayne Indiana

    #4
    mnavarre great sounding recipe. Can I sub sumac with honey? Would have no idea where to find sumac. Thank you!

    Comment

  • Texas Larry
    Club Member
    • May 2017
    • 1414
    • Wilson County, TX
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      Favorite beer: Alaskan Amber

    #5
    Thank you. Gonna have to make this.

    Comment

    • efincoop
      Club Member
      • Jan 2016
      • 107
      • Upstate NY, by upstate I don't just mean 30 miles north of NYC ;-)
      • Webber Performer Premium 22"
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        Blended Whiskey: James Oliver American Whiskey

      #6
      This is ironic because I picked up a small roaster this weekend and planned to make it in a very similar fashion tonight. Thanks for the great write up. I will definitely be incorporating some of your techniques.

      Comment

      • Spinaker
        Moderator
        • Nov 2014
        • 10587
        • Land of Tonka
        • John "J R"
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        #7
        This sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing this with us. I bet Troutman would like to take a peak at this one as well! I am gonna have to give this one a try!

        Comment

        • klflowers
          Club Member
          • Sep 2015
          • 3209
          • Tennessee

          #8
          I love this place.

          Comment

          • Troutman
            Club Member
            • Aug 2017
            • 7198

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            #9
            Nice I'll have to study this a little closer. In the meantime I just like saying the word "Halal". Got any pix?

            Comment

            • Troutman
              Club Member
              • Aug 2017
              • 7198

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              #10
              And oh yea I guess there really is such a thing as a Halal Cart !!!

              Comment

              • mnavarre
                Club Member
                • Jan 2018
                • 541
                • San Diego

                #11
                Troutman These are the only pics I took:


                Going on the grill.
                Click image for larger version

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                Didn't get pics of the finished chicken since I was fighting the fire a bit. I had to borrow the wife's hair dryer to get the temp up toward the end of the cook.

                Leftover bowl:
                Click image for larger version

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                I'll take better pics next time I make this, which is apparently "Oh, god you have to make this all the time". So, soon.

                Comment

                • Troutman
                  Club Member
                  • Aug 2017
                  • 7198

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                  #12
                  👍 looking goood 👍

                  Comment

                  • fzxdoc
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                    #13
                    This sounds delicious! Thanks, mnavarre !

                    Kathryn

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