I was on a roll with the new cookbook last night. This middle eastern chicken was super-easy and delicious, and the rice and suzme went with it superbly.
Orange and Mustard Marinated Chicken
Marinate 4 chicken breasts (we used thighs) in the following
- zest of 2 oranges
- 150 ml orange juice
- 1 tbsp mild mustard (I used Dijon)
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
Drain off marinade, brush chicken with olive oil. Brown in pan for 3 mins on each side. Season chicken and bake in oven for 25-30 mins.
I covered the chicken in the oven and it was a bit overcooked, probably because the thigh pieces were smaller than breasts. But it tasted great!
Carrot and Apricot Pilaf
I adapted this from a lamb & rice recipe in the Complete Book of Turkish Cooking.
Heat 30ml ghee (or oil & butter) in a pan and saute 2 chopped onions and 4 chopped garlic cloves for a few minutes.
Add 2 medium carrots, coarsley grated and stir for a minute, then sdd 1 3/4 cups long grain rice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 2 tsp ground allspice and stir for another minute.
Add 1 litre chicken stock, bring to the boil for 1-2 minutes, then reduce to a simmer for 10-12 mins. Half way through, add 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots.
When most of the water has been absorbed, take off the heat, cover with a clean tea towel and lid for 10-15 mins.
Stir in toasted slivered almonds before serving.
Suzme with Zataar
Again from "Purple Citurs & Sweet Perfume". Place 1 1/2 - 2 cups of yoghurt in muslin, in a strainer over a bowl overnight, so that the liquid drains off the yoghurt (this is the Suzme). I think I needed to leave it out of the fridge for a while at the start of the process to get rid of more of the liquid.
Suzme is like cream cheese (although mine was a bit soft). You then make little logs, like mini kofte, and roll them in spices - sumac or pistachios, or in our case, some home made zataar - 2 tbsp dried oregano or thyme, 1 tbsp dried marjoram, 2 tdsp sesame seeds (lightly toased), 1 tbsp sumac and 1/2 tsp salt.
I put two of these on each plate.
Unfortunately the photo doesnt do justice to the food. This was great!