Saturday, April 13, 2013

Middle Eastern Inspired Chicken

I've talked about my messy, but well stocked spice cupboard before... It's full of various spices that I've collected as I've tried various dishes. There are a few I use every day and a few that get forgotten for a long time. I don't date my spices, you just need to open the jar and you can tell if it's worth keeping. Besides, I tend to buy whole spices for the ones I don't use that often, because they last longer.

One of my recent finds is Zaatar (pronounced Zah-tur). It's a spice popular all over the middle east and usually contains dried thyme, dried oregano, sumac, salt, and sesame seeds. It lends an amazing flavor to grilled meats roasted vegetables and you just need lemon juice and olive oil and you've got a great marinade for chicken.

I'd been making some heavy meals lately and I thought it would be good to have something lighter today.

I cooked this middle eastern inspired chicken and some purple potato fries. Wait you say, fries? Yes, they are cooked in my t-fal actifry, so they are light, just a tablespoon of olive oil for 4 big servings, so we didn't get a lot of grease.

Now on to the chicken. You can keep it simpler than I did, I simply can't help putting just a little more spice when I cook stuff. It's yummy and gluten, nut and lactose free which is great in my family!

1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon Zaatar spice mix
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red chili flakes (Omit if you prefer less spice)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala or sebah baharat
1.5 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 small lemon
Juice of 1 small lime
3 cloves garlic chopped fine
2 tsp honey

Method 1 (Grilling)
1. Mix all spices with olive oil, honey, chopped garlic and lemon and lime juices,  and marinate chicken thighs in a large zip lock bag for at least 30 minutes but preferably overnight.
2. Grill over hot coals or over gas bbq and serve hot.

Method 2 (Oven roast)
1. Mix all spices with olive oil, honey, chopped garlic and lemon and lime juices, and marinate chicken thighs in a large zip lock bag for at least 30 minutes but preferably overnight.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400C and put chicken pieces in a large oven proof dish in the oven for 15 minutes
3. Remove from oven and drain juices into a pot to reduce.

It should look like this at this stage:

After 15 minutes of baking
4. Change oven setting to broil and put in oven for 2 minutes while the juices and marinade are thickening in the pot on the stove.
5. Baste chicken with thickened marinade and put under broiler for 1 minute
6. Turn chicken over, baste again and return to oven again for 1 minute.
7. Remove chicken from oven, drizzle remaining marinade and serve
It should look like this now:

After being basted and placed under broiler

And here's my 4 year old's plate of  "Zaatar Chicken" with purple potato fries! Yes, I know veggies are missing, but we started off with kale soup. I'll post a recipe of that another day.

No prizes for Plating, but this chicken was yummy with the purple potato fries!
You can buy sebah baharat (7 spices) at most middle eastern stores. If you can't find it, use garam masala. It's not the same but is a good substitute.
This is a good dish to cook with kids... there's some measuring, but not much else to it and he or she can feel helpful.


No comments:

Post a Comment