Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lebanese Chicken

So here's a perfect example of starting out with a perfectly good recipe, reading it through a few times and thinking, "Eh. I can do better than that."

This weekend I finally got around to trying a recipe I ripped out of the December 2005 Goumet magazine...except that I didn't really "try" it - I improvised, as usual.

The result was DE-LISH. Hubster practically licked his plate. Since clove is my favorite flavor (sorry, ginger) I was ALL about this dish.

So if you like spice and are an adventurous cook, here's the list of ingredients and rough instructions:

2 lbs boneless chicken thighs (approximately 8)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp clove
8 bay leaves
Olive oil
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Season chicken evenly with cinnamon, allspice, cumin, clove, salt and pepper. Add a bay leaf to the top of each thigh.

Halve onions and slice cross-wise, or French. (Just watch your tongue around the sharp blade). Mince garlic.

Add oil to a hot (med-high heat) skillet large enough to hold chicken comfortably.

When oil is hot, add onions. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook until onions are nearly translucent.

Scoot (I learned that term at Le Cordon Bleu) the onions and garlic to the outside of the pan. Add chicken - leaf side down - to the center of the pan. Cover with onions. Lower heat to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn chicken and cook, uncovered, for another 3-5 minutes. Serve over rice.

2 cups basmati rice
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
1 tsp kosher salt

Rinse rice. Combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cook 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove stick, leaves and cloves. This rice is AMAZING.

I served the chicken and rice with fresh spinach dressed with extra virgin olive oil (there is no way in HELL you will catch me saying XVOO - sorry) and kosher salt.

Super easy, super fast, super delish.

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