Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean Chicken with pine nut cous cous
Mediterranean Chicken with pine nut cous cous

I struggled for a name for this dish and settled on this as the most accurate. It mixes European (Italian, Hungarian) and North African (Tunisian) flavors. It’s easy to make and really reheats well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 10 Chicken thighs
  • One large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, one red, one green, deseeded and sliced longitudinally
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • one bottle Classico Roasted Garlic tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. harissa (I found mine at Trader Joe’s. Add more if you want it hotter)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. I have a large ceramic coated metal roasting pan that’s shallow. On the stovetop I add the oil oil and then brown the chicken on a low flame because I want to get them nicely cooked before I put them in the oven. After you’ve flipped and browned the 2nd side of the chicken start adding the vegetables, you might boost the flame a little. I go onions, then bell peppers, then garlic, the raisins, then balsamic vinegar, then tomato sauce, then harissa. The mushrooms I stir in right before moving the dish to the oven for 20 – 25 minutes to finish it off.

I served mine with pine nut couscous but it would go great with linguini or other pasta.

Notes: you could easily add more garlic! Tastes even better the next day, reheats well in the microwave.

Mediterranean chicken up close in the pan after coming out of the oven.
Mediterranean chicken up close in the pan after coming out of the oven.

 

Chipotle Lime Garlic roast chicken ala Mexicana

Chipotle Lime Garlic roast chicken ala Mexicana
Chipotle Lime Garlic roast chicken ala Mexicana

Quick ingredients list:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 small limes
  • 2 tsp. powdered garlic
  • 2 tblsp. Chef Merito Steak and Meat Seasoning (image coming)
  • one whole chicken, washed in warm water and dried with paper towel
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tblsp. brown sugar

I like to fill the chicken with warm water and let it sit in there for 30 seconds and I do this twice while washing the chicken in order to try to warm it up to room temperature before cooking.

In a metal bowl I added the oil, Chef Merito Steak and Meat Seasoning, lime juice, garlic and cut up chipotles. This is the marinade that I coat it with.

So I hold the chicken upside down and pour in ALL of the marinade mix to the main body cavity while holding the neck cavity closed and swish it around the inside of the chicken to coat it. Then I pour it out into the bowl and coat the exterior of the chicken, on a vertical roaster, and paint it on with a brush for the first coat.

Cook for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, pull out and do the second coat of marinade, put back in for 15 more minutes but now at 375 degrees. Now take it out again (after the 15 minutes), add 2 tblsp. brown sugar and some of the drippings from the catch pan of the vertical roaster to what remains of the marinade and do the glazing stage for the final 15 minutes.

Next time I’m going to add Mexican oregano and ground cumin. My goal is to match (or surpass!?!) the chicken from El Toro Bravo here in Costa Mesa.

*Here’s another one of my attempts to match the fabulous chicken from El Toro Bravo.

Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken

Balti Chicken
Balti Chicken

This is a great, mildly spicy dish depending upon the close adherence to using LESS chili powder and mild Anaheim chiles. Stray away from this at the risk of your taste buds.

  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Greek-style yogurt
  • 1.5 tsp. Garam Masala (a mix your can buy)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (insane, use ONLY 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. garlic pulp
  • 2 tbsp. mango chutney
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 1.5 lb. chicken
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 fresh green chilies, chopped (use Anaheims, mild enough to eat)
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. light cream (use half and half)

Blend together the tomato puree, yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, garlic, mango chutney, salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Heat oil in a deep round bottomed frying pan (we use American wok, teflon w/ handle)

Add chicken pieces stir until coated; add water to thin the sauce slightly; continue cooking for 5 – 7 minutes or until chicken is tender (don’t overcook, undercook and let heat continue to cook, sauce super-retains heat).

Lower heat slightly and pour spice mix in bring to boil for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally (important to cook/meld flavors here)

Finally add the fresh chilies, cilantro and cream for a further 2 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with Basmati rice and naan if you can find it. Trader Joe’s has a great frozen naan that heats in your toaster oven.

El Toro Bravo-style Roast Chicken

this is the chicken with the spice mix brushed on, on our vertical roaster the better to simulate the rotisserie at Toro Bravo

This is my experimental attempt to duplicate the recipe of my favorite Mexican-style roast chicken restaurant El Toro Bravo on 19th Street in Costa Mesa.

Latest ingredient list as of 2.3.13:

  • juice of one medium lemon, seeds removed
  • 2 tsp. ground garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 2 tsp. pasilla chile powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 3 tsp. Chef Merito Sazonador para Carne
  • 1 tsp. salt

I brushed this on one large chicken and put it in at 350 degrees.

This is the spice paste/sauce that results from mixing all the ingredients.

Completed Chicken

My second attempt. Looking and tasting good. I feel like I need at minimum 3 attempts to get a recipe down.

Indian Spice Rub for Chicken

Click for larger image!

1-1/2 lbs. fresh chicken, rinsed and dried
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • I wash and dry the chicken so that it is room temperature and the skin is not too wet.
  • I double the recipe because we almost always make more chicken for future meals and it reheats very nicely
  • ***Note: original recipe calls for 1 tsp. cayenne. That amount of cayenne/chili will be WAY TOO MUCH. I use a solid 1/4 tsp. when I double the recipe and DJ can still eat it and he is only just getting used to spicy food.
  • I add a small amount of sugar, like half the amount of a single spice so if you’re double the recipe I would add 1 tsp. of sugar. It makes the spice rub become a little like a glaze and its not too sweet.
  • I start the oven at 400 degrees and then at 20 minutes I turn it down to 350 for the last 10 minutes. I don’t know what I’m doing, actually, but I tell myself that I’m, at first, searing/sealing in the juices and, secondly, then not drying it out by cooking too long.
  • We like to use this recipe on chicken wings: they are cheap and yummy. Enjoy yourselves!

The original recipe/instructions came from here: http://www.indiasnacks.com/recipe/811/Tandoori-Spice-Rub.php