Chicken Kofta with Pomegranate Rice

February 12th, 2017

Chicken Kofta with Pomegranate Rice

We are now officially Florida residents for the next 6 weeks.  The rental house is small, but the kitchen is updated and very functional.

NSB Kitchen

I am always seeking out new recipes.  From a stack of magazines in the cottage, I found this recipe for Chicken Kofta with Pomegranate Rice in an issue of Real Simple.  When I travel to rental houses, I prefer to bring herbs and spices. The basket you see next to the refrigerator holds all of my favorites from home. These Middle Eastern ground chicken patties call for cumin and cinnamon; a great flavor combination.

Chicken Kofta with Pomagranate Rice

The chicken is served with yellow rice with pomegranate seeds, cooling cucumber slices and a lemon infused yogurt sauce.  We enjoyed this on the backyard patio.  The ocean is just two blocks away.

NSB 1

We love this small beach community.

CHICKEN KOFTA WITH POMEGRANATE RICE ( Real Simple Magazine )

2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb. ground chicken
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 cups cooked yellow rice
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup sliced English cucumbers

Stir together the yogurt and salt.  Combine the chicken, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture in a medium bow.  Shape into 8 (3-inch long) oval patties.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium.  Cook the patties, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 12 minutes.

Stir the water and lemon juice into the remaining yogurt mixture.  Toss together the rice and pomegranate seeds.  Sere the patties with rice; top with the yogurt sauce and cucumber.

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Jamaican Chicken Soup for the Dark Days of Winter

January 6th, 2017

Jamacian Chicken Soup

The weather is frightful.  The skies are grey.  But the light still burns in our homes and on our hearths. We have put away the trappings of the holidays and are hunkering down for the long dark days of Winter. Warming soups and bread fresh from the oven are my preferred ways to fight the winter doldrums. And a great soup to brighten your days is this Jamaican inspired recipe.Jamacian Chicken Soup

With the bright additions of curry and allspice, this chicken, black bean and black-eyed pea soup hits all the right notes.  I added Himalayan red rice to the mix because I had it in my pantry.  I found it while cleaning out dated foodstuff.  Sometimes impulse buys get shoved into corners.   Himalayan Red Rice is grown in Nepal and has a red hued bran.  It is colorful for pilafs.

Jamacian Chicken Stew

We have a snow storm predicted for the mountains this weekend so I am happy to have a pot of soup and homemade Rosemary Olive Oil Bread stashed away.  Cooking is a good way to survive anything nature throws at you.

JAMAICAN CHICKEN SOUP

1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used Himalayan Red Rice)

Heat oil in a dutch oven.  Add chicken pieces and saute until browned.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Add onion to casserole and cook until transparent.  Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add all of the spices and cook over low heat for about 1 minute.  Add wine and reduce slightly.  Return chicken to casserole and add the remaining ingredients.  Cover pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and cook for at least 30 minutes.  Garnish with parsley or cilantro if desired.

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Tandoori-Style Chicken for a Picnic

June 21st, 2016

Tandoori-Style Chicken 1 better

If you are looking for a flavorful picnic chicken, this is the one for you.  Because of the long marination in spices, garlic and ginger, it is delicious even at room temperature. I would happily put this chicken in a container and carry it to a picnic spot overlooking a mountain view or a babbling stream.  In my perfect picnic spot I would serve it with the following.

Couscous-with-arugla-2

Israeli Couscous and Arugula Salad.  It is bright.  It is piquant and it is light.  You can find the recipe here.

Zoodle Mixed Salad 1

One of my new favorite salads is this Zoodle vegie salad.  It is perfect for a picnic.   Here is the recipe.

Savory-Cheese-and-Chive-Bread-3V

All picnics require bread.  This wonderful cheese and chive bread from Dorie Greenspan is perfect.  It is one of my favorites.

Chocolate-Shortbread-Bars-2-V

 

My Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Bars are fast and easy.  You can make them even better with good quality chocolate.  I even make and freeze these to have on hand for impromptu get togethers.  Recipe here.

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Add some fruit, cheese and wine for a perfect picnic.

Tandoori-Style Chicken close

The fiery jalapeno and ginger spiked marinade assures that this chicken will have lots of flavor when it is served cold or at room temperature.  Although the recipe calls for roasting in the oven, it would also be great on the grill.  Try it for your next picnic or cookout.

TANDOORI-STYLE CHICKEN

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, and seeded if desired
  • 1 inch-long piece gingerroot, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 pounds skinless chicken drumsticks and thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  1. For marinade, combine all ingredients except for chicken, oil and lime wedges in a food processor and purée until smooth.
  2. With a sharp knife, make several incisions on each chicken piece to help marinade penetrate meat. Transfer chicken to a large glass or ceramic baking dish and pour in marinade, turning chicken pieces to coat. Cover dish with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove chicken pieces from marinade. Transfer chicken to a roasting pan and drizzle with vegetable oil. Roast, basting occasionally, until juices run clear and meat is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely, then wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with lime wedges.

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Spiedies from Binghamton New York

May 3rd, 2016

Spiedies 1

At a recent get together with the Anderson family (The funeral of General Earl E. Anderson), extended family members from Binghamton, New York brought one of their local specialties; Spiedies. My first understanding was “Speedies”.  What?  Fast chicken and pork?  But I quickly got into the program.  I remembered that the Italian word for skewered meat was spiedini.  How this specialty of Italy made its way to Binghamton is still a mystery to me. I did find out that every August Binghamton holds a Spiedie Rally and Balloon Fest.  There are cooking contests held to see who can make the best spiedie sandwich.  Spiedies are actually skewered marinated meat (beef, chicken, lamb or pork), grilled and served with soft Italian bread which is used to pull the meat off of the skewer.  So forgive the above picture with grilled bread.  To make it authentic that bread should be soft and strong enough to pull the meat off of the skewers.  Add hot sauce or the cooked marinade to make it complete.  Everyone in Binghamton understands the concept.

Spiedies 2V

The recipe I used came from The New York Times.  You can find it here.  With grilling season upon us, you will be happy to have such a flavorful meat entree.  I used pork and chicken.  Do not marinate the chicken for more than 12 hours as it breaks down after that time.  The pork can be marinated for up to 36 hours.

Barb's Kitchen 2

Last week I visited an old friend from college.  She has just built the most charming house on several acres near Black Mountain, just a stones’s throw away from Lake Lure.  I feel so fortunate to have her close by.  We were both newly married attending the University of Florida when we met.  We had an instant rapport.  I am happy to say that Barb and I still have that special connection.  We have been having fun together shopping, lunching and laughing.  I love what she has accomplished with this house.  The farm sink, the color of the cabinets, the sliding barn door and the antique elements all combine to make such a welcoming space.

Barb's Kitchen 1

I could be very happy cooking in this kitchen.

Lilac Bush

Happy May Day a few days late.  My lilac bush in front of the guest cottage has bloomed on schedule.  Growing up in Michigan it was a tradition to make paper May baskets, fill them with lilacs and deliver them to friends and neighbors on May 1st.  The smell of lilacs brings back all of those memories.

Chicken Simply Roasted in a Skillet

March 5th, 2016

Simply Roasted Chicken 1

There are many reasons to love the cookbook Heritage by Sean Brock.  But one of the best reasons is this version of roast chicken.  I have roasted many chickens in my lifetime, but this is arguably the one I love the most.  It cooks very quickly.  It is broken down into 2 halves with the back bone removed, seared over high heat then finished in a hot oven.  The pan sauce with garlic and lemon that goes with it just gilds the lily.

Simply Roasted Chicken 3V

The house smelled of garlic, lemon and crisping chicken skin.  Although there were lots of splatters and heavy pots to contend with, it was well worth the mess.  I have learned over the years that the more you mess up your stove and work space, the better the results on the table.  It might be easier to open cans of already prepared sauces or broths, but the effort to make a dish from scratch is the way we were meant to eat.

Spring Blooms

The flowers of Spring are also reminders of the way things are supposed to be.  Renewal through Spring buds.  We are looking forward to returning to the season in the mountains of North Carolina.  We have a few more weeks in Florida; friends will be visiting next week and then we have to get the house ready for showings.  We are hoping that it will sell this Spring.

Simply Roasted Chicken 2

We really enjoyed this chicken.  Hope that you will give it a try.  Spring is in the air and we are thankful for the change in season.

 

CHICKEN SIMPLY ROASTED IN A SKILLET (Heritage by Sean Brock)

Garlic Confit:
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Chicken:
1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil (or 1/4 cup if you brown the chicken in one pan)

Pan Sauce:
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves cut into very thin strips
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

For the Garlic Confit:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut two 12-inch squares of aluminum foil and lay one pice on top of the other.  Place the garlic cloves on the foil.  Sprinkle with the sugar, salt, and pepper.  Pour the olive oil over the garlic cloves.  Shape the foil into a pouch by bringing the edges of the foil together over the garlic and sealing them.  Flatten the bottom of the pouch so it will stay upright in the oven and place it on a baking sheet.  Roast the garlic for about 30 minutes, until the cloves are very soft but not falling apart.  Set the garlic aside in the pouch.  Leave the oven on.

For the Chicken:  Using kitchen shears, cut down along both sides of the backbone, then clip it out.  Cut the wings off at the first joint.  Split the chicken in half.  Use paper towels to dry the skin.  Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken in a baking dish and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Place two 12-inch cast-iron skillets over high heat.  When the skillets smoke, add 1/4 up of the canola oil to each.  (I fit the chicken into 1 skillet with 1/4 cup oil.)  As soon as the oil smokes, carefully add a half chicken to each skillet, skin side down.  (Or add to one skillet if they both fit).  Weight the chicken halves with another heavy skillet or pan so it stays flat and browns evenly.  Cook the chicken, with the weights on it, until the skin is crispy and evenly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove the weights.

Flip the chicken over, and place the skillet or skillets into the oven.  Roast the chicken for about 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155 degrees F.  Place the chicken on plates to rest while you make the sauce.

For the Pan Sauce:  Combine the roasting juices and fats from both skillets into one;  set aside.  Place the other skillet or a saucepan if you used just one skillet on the stove over medium heat.  Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock into the skillet or saucepan and stir.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook to reduce by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the remaining cup of stock and set aside.

Place the skillet with the roasting juices over medium heat.  Sprinkle the flour evenly over the juices and gently whisk it in until there are no lumps.  Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with the whisk; do not let the roux get too dark around the edge.  Whisk in the the chicken stock, making sure to fully emulsify it.  Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-high and reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.  Add the parsley, lemon zest and juice, and 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil from the pouch of garlic and whisk to combine.

To Complete;  Place the garlic and pan sauce over the chicken and enjoy.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.