Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

My key ingredient: Wild thyme

Wael Abdo, head chef at Iris Yas Island in Abu Dhabi teaches us how to make French Thyme Chicken

French Thyme Chicken Courtesy of Iris Abu Dhabi
French Thyme Chicken Courtesy of Iris Abu Dhabi

Wael Abdo, head chef at Iris Yas Island in Abu Dhabi explains why wild thyme pairs perfectly with chicken and lemon juice in this classic dish: French Thyme Chicken. “Wild thyme is an ingredient found in most kitchens across France and, alongside garlic, is central to many traditional dishes and recipes from the home of gastronomy. Thyme and chicken is a classic pairing, particularly with the addition of fresh lemon juice, which we use together to marinate the chicken first, and then again in the sauce. Comforting, delicious and with a deep aroma, this dish is one of my favourites on the Iris menu.”

Ingredients for the chicken and marinade

300g corn-fed chicken breast

10g French thyme

7.5g rosemary

50g lemon juice

5g garlic

50g mustard

Ingredients for the thyme sauce

250g chicken stock

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

60g lemon juice

18g garlic

7g French thyme

Ingredients for the sautéed vegetables

50g Kenyan green beans

110g potatoes

75g semi-dry tomatoes

3g shallots

1g chives

Pinch of salt and pepper

10g olive oil


For the marinade, start by mixing French thyme, rosemary, mustard and lemon juice.

Chop five slices of garlic and add it to the thyme mixture.

Put the corn-fed chicken with the thyme mixture and marinate for three hours.

In the meantime, prepare your sauce by boiling the chicken stock, adding pepper and salt. Bring it to boil, and then turn down the heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced by half.

Add lemon, garlic and thyme, and set to one side.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Grill the chicken for five minutes, and then place in the oven for 15 minutes.

Boil the Kenyan beans and potatoes. Take a pan and coat with olive oil; add beans, potatoes, tomatoes, chives and shallots. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for five minutes on medium heat until the shallots soften, and other vegetables start to take some colour. Place the chicken and vegetables on a plate, and top with thyme sauce.

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