sunday gravy with yeah right: it’s a KSK pantry raid! sarah’s grilled za’atar chicken



yeah right is a lifelong Vikings fan. He is into self denial and still harbors hope. Loves to cook, read and drink. But he doesn’t plate.

Greeting folks! And a special greeting to all of our recently arrived brethren. I’m your host yeah right and this is Sunday Gravy. In these posts I take you on a culinary magical mystery tour. To refresh the minds of everyone, what I cook and post here is what I am cooking and having for Sunday dinner. I promise to pull no punches and to give every ingredient to you. There will be no beer left undranken!

I will take no credit what-so-ever for today’s recipe. All of the credit goes to our former “Foodball” host on KSK Sarah Sprague. Sarah is an amazing cook, as evidenced by her recipes, she is also a friend, fellow Angelino and alive and well! One of these days I’m going to be able to coordinate with her to attend one of our famous L.A. Short Bus Field Trips. For the uninitiated, the L.A. DFO group gets together to eat, drink and frolic and then gives an “Oral History” of the gathering afterwards.

That’s right! We are a fucking interactive blog! Take that shit Uproxx!

We also have a field trip next Saturday August 15th. More details to come soon. If you are in the L.A. area and would like to attend, by all means. Show the fuck up and let’s get crunk!

So today’s recipe: First of all here is the original post:

Foodball: Grilled Za’atar Chicken Pitas

When I first read this post I was curious about it. Also confused. The fucks a Za’atar? Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix made up of:



  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

I get my sesame seeds and sumac from Whole Foods. They’re sold in these little ass boxes. I know some folks have mentioned going to a spice store to have this ground for you and that would work too.

Put the sesame seeds in a skillet and cook over a medium flame for 3-5 minutes until they get aromatic, set these aside to cool. Take the remaining ingredients and put in a spice grinder, or if you are like me and don’t have a spice grinder, use a coffee bean grinder. It works perfectly. You can get a coffee grinder for less than 20 bucks on Amazon. Open up your wallet ya cheap bastards. Plus you can finally grind that last minute Christmas gift of Starbucks Coffee beans your unimaginative Aunt Martha got you for Christmas this past year. Anyway put the now cooled sesame seeds along with the other ingredients into the grinder. Pulse for a few seconds and there you go. The smell when you remove the top of the grinder is fucking incredible. It smells like a Moroccan spice market. Rich, spicy, earthy goodness. You will find your own reasons to use this spice. Today for instance, I’m going to be grilling some naan on the grill. A little olive oil brush, a little more za’atar and maybe some garlic salt. Cook for a minute or two on each side. Fuck yes.




Chicken and za’atar marinade:

6 ounces non-fat Greek Yogurt (about a cup)
2 tablespoons za’atar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
zest from 1/2 a lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
juice from 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 – 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, diced into large cubes and strips (A mix of white and dark meat is fine, or all dark meat.) I used all white meat today. I also totally copied and pasted this from Sarah’s original post. Love and miss you Sarah!

I’m also going to do a quick relish, which I shamelessly stole from the post and I’ve got two real original ideas! Check out my non-plagiarizing ass!


Onion garnish

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon za’atar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/4 – 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

The only omission from the original recipe is green pepper. Don’t get me wrong! I cook the fuck out of green pepper. Everything creole, cajun and red sauce Italian I make has green pepper. I just don’t dig it uncooked. That’s just me. That’s just something I don’t enjoy. Combine all ingredients and let set for a couple of hours or refrigerate over night.

Garlic yogurt dipping sauce

Another cup of plain Greek yogurt

3-4 cloves of minced garlic

1 teaspoon of za’atar

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

Some fresh ground black pepper


Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for a couple of hours. This is a delicious dip for any and all dip required occasions.


Garlic Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

One potato per person peeled or not depending upon preference

3-4 cloves minced garlic

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Some sprigs of fresh rosemary.

1 tablespoon kosher salt.


Cut your potatoes into wedges and toss with olive oil. Salt the potatoes and cover with garlic and rosemary. Cook in a 375 oven for an hour or 70 minutes or so. This is one of my “go to” side dishes. Much beloved and ridiculously aromatic. You’re going to be driven fucking nuts by the fucking smell.


roast potatoes


So anyway. We’re going to grill the marinated chicken over A CHARCOAL FIRE!!!. About 10 minutes per side. Cover if you are cooking thicker cuts of chicken. When done cook that naan thing I talked about. Serve with the garlic sauce and the red onion relish.


grilling chicken

This shit is delightful. I’ve discovered a whole world of yogurt marinated goodness. Basically if you use plain yogurt, citrus, garlic and your choice of spice you can make the culinary fucking magic. I have a yogurt marinade with Aleppo peppers, another where I use lime and Garam Masala another with crushed red pepper flake and kiwi.

Experiment! The world is not a scary place. I believe the origins of this recipe are from Syria. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food can be amazingly delicious and not entirely unhealthy for you. Branch out! Try new things!

And if you find yourself in L.A maybe we can hang out! Have a brew! Talk about sports! Who fucking knows!



yeah right is a lifelong Vikings fan. He is into self denial and still harbors hope. Loves to cook, read and drink. But he doesn't plate.
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OmnimorphDon TMoose -The End Is Well NighSpanky Datasswhorootbeerdatbe Recent comment authors
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Don T

That looks awesome
Oh! About green peppers. If you take the skin off, they taste even better–even raw, but then again skinning a raw green pepper will make you reevaluate an already fleeting existence. Plus, no gas.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Thanks obama?


I prefer Z’Dar chicken.

Enrico Pallazzo

Only a dickbutt like yeah right would make us eat poison sumac.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
monty this seems strange to me

“This shit is delightful.”

-Rex Ryan, every morning

Lothar of the Hill People
Lothar of the Hill People

Quick “cool story, bro” comment about Syrian food.

When I lived there, food was delicious and cheap; we’d eat out at restaurants most nights, and unless you got really extravagant, your tab would come to 2 or 3 bucks, total. Many nights I paid less than $2. Despite this, a guy I hung out with constantly complained how expensive things were–compared to Egypt, where he had lived, and because food there was subsidized even more than in Syria, it was uncommon for him to spend more than $1 on a meal. Douchebag.

Even though food was delicious and cheap, I lost weight–mainly because where I was staying, I didn’t have a fridge, and so my snacks were all bananas, almonds, and the occasional ice cream bar from a shop around the corner.

Nowadays, food in Syria isn’t cheap or plentiful. Syria has become a shitstorm in so many ways. So eat up and pour one out for what was once a beautiful, peaceful, and fascinating (if a little fucked-up) country. And don’t worry about the beer; the country has a large Christian minority, and I drank beer 2-3 times a week there.

Lothar of the Hill People
Lothar of the Hill People

You can get za’tar from Penzey’s spices. It’s a reasonable approximation of the real deal, and you don’t need to work so hard.

I say this having lived in Syria and eaten a lot of za’tar.

Funny thing is, most of the za’tar I ate was in dips or on bread.

You want a great (and authentic) appetizer for this meal, make yourself some muhammara. It’s easy and damned delicious.


That looks fucking delicious! Thanks!

Old School Zero

Also, nice Pliny you have there.

Old School Zero

Za’atar is magical. We do a tasty sweet potato za’atar soup during the autumn months (with a little feta and nuts) that is just superb.

A friend that likes to fish gave the girlfriend and me some lovely steelhead filets, and I did a quick cure with brown sugar and salt, then a light indirect smoke on the grill. Minced together some italian parsley, dill, capers, garlic, and anchovy filets and mixed that with salt, lemon juice, and olive oil as a topping. She made some Austrian potato salad and I did a quick marinade on some asparagus with sesame oil, soy sauce, and lime juice and grilled that as well.

Perfect dinner.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Grilled lamb brats; they were great. Fresh tomatoes, what my mom used to do scallions, raw with salt. IPAs.

Defensive Back Mike Wallace
Defensive Back Mike Wallace

I read za’atar as Zartha .

And now I hate myself.


That’s looks delicious. I’ve always been hesitant about marinating with yogurt. Just seems weird. The results, though, don’t lie. I’ll have to try this soon.

Lothar of the Hill People
Lothar of the Hill People

It’s very similar to soaking chicken in buttermilk before frying it.

Spanky Datass
Spanky Datass

I am a marinade disciple but I’ve never used yogurt. I have a pouch of garam masala that I really need to use so I’m gonna get yogurt and chicken this week and fire the grill on (looks a weather forecast) Thursday night!

Covalent Blonde

Are those new potatoes you are using? Do you adjust for the increased moisture much or do those times usually work regardless of new or Russet?