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Harissa Chicken and Chickpeas

harissa chicken

Harissa Chicken and Chickpeas is a fairly simple recipe, and yet that incredible harissa sauce makes it something special despite the simple design.  In fact, apart from the pan-roasting, which takes about 25 minutes, the whole thing can be done in well under an hour, from start to finish.

I’ve probably mentioned harissa one or more times here, but it’s something that every kitchen should make sure is on hand, any time something just needs a little spice to it. It’s a red pepper sauce, I guess, but it is made with plenty of heat — almost a lot like a good chili but with it’s own kind of flavor profile. And the good news is, you can start with a small amount and increase it until you hit the right level of flavor, with almost anything you’re cooking. It’s perfect, in fact with almost any kind of saucy kind of vegetable preparation, especially.

I believe this recipe came from a Bon Appetite, originally, but it’s been modified a bit, especially with the garlic and onions.

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Pineapple-Chile Glazed Chicken

pineapple-chile glazed chicken

We do a lot of chicken around Discovery Cooking, in part because there are just a lot of things you can do with  it and typically, they also tend to be easy and quick, if you’re in a hurry. This pineapple-chile glazed chicken is one of those quick and easy recipes, but the end result is something that really comes off as more than what it takes to make it.

The start of this recipe came from something I saw in a Bon Appetite magazine, probably more than a year ago, and with a bit of tweaking, became something amazing. A little cooked pineapple, some amazing serrano chile, some smoked paprika, a little bit of care and you’re there. And apart from waiting around for the chicken to bake for nearly an hour,  the actual preparation is about as easy as you can get.

I didn’t mess around much with the ingredients, so I can’t take much credit for this — other than I made it myself. But then, sometimes there really isn’t much you want to do with a really good recipe except maybe just enjoy it.

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Elegant Chicken Galantine

chicken galantine

As someone obsessed by food, I spend more than a healthy amount of time scouring the web, looking for inspiration and ideas. On one of these excursions, I “Stumbled” (using Stumble Upon) across a video clip of the French chef Jacques Pepin preparing a chicken galantine. You can find the video here. The finished product was impressive and delicious.

Boning a chicken is actually pretty easy if you follow the video. And if you watch, you’ll understand that this technique removes all the bones (save for the very tips of the legs). And yet, done properly, the result still looks very much like a chicken should, but it’s then possible to simply cut the chicken crosswise for a wonderful stuffed entree just ready for a gastrique, or maybe some gravy. 

For this version, my lovely wife (and resident stuffing expert) concocted a wonderful stuffing by sauteing some onions and fresh herbs and combining that with dried, crumbled corn bread. The crowning touch was a simple orange gastrique drizzled over the sliced galatine. The beauty of this dish is that you can stuff the bird just about any way you please. I’m looking forward to trying some ideas in that regard, including an oyster stuffing at some point.

Recommended.

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Sous Vide Spinach Stuffed Chicken

spinach stuffed chicken

I wanted to do another chicken dish that incorporates what sous vide does best and yet comes out with something a little more special that just another chicken dish. That’s basically how this spinach stuffed chicken breast came about. It uses sous vide to get the chicken just perfect, then a quick fry in a pan at the last minute to give it that nice, crisp outer coating.

There isn’t much special about the dish just all by itself. The spinach dip uses cream cheese, spinach, a bit of Parmesan and a little salt and olive oil. I pounded down the chicken breasts and placed the spinach dip inside and rolled them up. Into the sous vide for about an hour to an hour and a half, then given a little egg was and some bread crumbs and into the fryer just to make sure they had a nice crusty finish. 

What I didn’t expect was how much flavor there would be. The stuffing, with just the heat from the cooking, turned into something fantastic, and not what I expected at all from such a simple dish, and the chicken, of course, was just perfect.

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Chicken Donbori with Coriander and Pomegranate

chicken donbori

Donbori, in a nutshell, is a Japanese word for what amounts to a rice bowl — a steaming bowl of rice topped with whatever you happen to have on hand (within reason). And in most senses, this bowl from Chef Jordan Sclare is just that, but sometimes calling this a chicken donbori tends to disguise the amazing flavors and textures in this dish.

In this case, the rice is topped with zucchini flavored in a tangy miso and kim chi base, then sliced raw onions and pomegranate seeds, then lavished with chicken flavored in a cilantro (coriander) marinade that’s like, why didn’t I think of that before? I can sincerely promise you, you’ve never had anything quite like this dish, ever before in your life. 

I picked this recipe up somewhere. I don’t remember why or how, but dig in, guys. This one gives chicken a whole new flavor.

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Chicken Piccata — Quick, Easy, and Rewarding

chicken piccata

As you might have guessed as you look around through our recipes, you’ll find quite a few chicken recipes, in part because they tend to be pretty easy to make into something fantastic. There is more to it than that, however. Chicken can be hard to do (at least to do it right) but sometimes, it can be sooooo easy, you could pretty much fall over before you can mess it up and at the end, you get a great restaurant quality meal. That’s where this chicken piccata comes in.

You don’t need a lot to do this dish — a little butter, some lemon, capers and parsley — and you’re all set. The technique is also very easy. Quickly saute the chicken tenders (or half chicken breasts, cut into two thin parts) and make the sauce using the remaining ingredients and you’re ready to start eating. If you start with just a  little prep, you can have this on the table in about 15-20 minutes. Yup. That fast.

Can you ruin this dish? Of course you can. You have to be really careful with the chicken breasts — it’s very easy to over cook them. And it’s also easy to go a little heavy on the lemon juice, which can really mess up the balance in the dish. In other words, pay attention to what you’re doing and you’ll be fine.

You really need to try this dish. It’s very, very good.

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Chicken Tikka Masala — A Little Indian?

chicken tikka masala

Indian food is one of those things I’d like to get my hands and arms around. So here’s a first start. This chicken tikka masala is a relatively easy dish that probably isn’t much like a real, honest to goodness tikka masala, but it’s very tasty and begins to warm the heart up for some more authentic Indian cooking down the road.

Now, to be honest, it may well be the case that the dish actually was made in Glasgow, Scotland (though by an Indian chef in a local restaurant there), using chicken tikka and a spicy garlic sauce with tomatoes and yogurt. There are also some indications it was first made in India and brought over. 

By Wikipedia: Chicken tikka masala is chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yogurt, that is then baked in a tandoor oven, and served in a masala (spice mix) sauce. A tomato and coriander sauce is common, but there is no standard recipe. Indeed, a survey found that of 48 different recipes, the only common ingredient was chicken. 

Which is a great way to start a recipe, actually, because there really isn’t a final version you have to adhere to. We also skipped the tandoor oven (which should be a given for an American chicken).

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