I came up with the basic idea for this week's recipe while flipping through a cooking magazine in my dentist's office of all places. I'd just read over a recipe that was somewhat similar, but was poorly conceived, badly written, had too many steps and needed heavy ingredient modifications. And yet I thought it had great potential.
The irony of today's recipe being loosely inspired by a bad recipe in a bad cooking magazine isn't lost on me, but I consider it further proof that you can find cooking inspiration almost anywhere. All you have to do is keep your mind open and look out for it.
With just a bit of practice, you'll be able to make this exotic yet easy recipe in well under 30 minutes. Better still, you can feed four people for the laughably cheap cost of around $7.00. Enjoy!
North African Lemon Chicken
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4-6 Tablespoons olive oil, in all
1 pound chicken breasts (~2 breasts), sliced into 1/2-inch thick medallions
2 medium onions, cut into slivers
4-5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
About half a lemon, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups stock or broth
1 generous cup black olives
1-2 Tablespoons flour
1) Combine the spices in a small bowl. Use half to season the chicken, set the remaining half aside.
2) Heat 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Sear the seasoned chicken slices on very high heat until slightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
3) Add another 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, then add the onions. Saute on high heat until the onions just begin to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, and add the garlic, thinly sliced lemon and the remaining half of the spice mixture. Saute for another 4-5 minutes.
4) Add the stock and olives and then deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add back the chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes, gradually adding the 1-2 Tablespoons of flour to thicken the sauce slightly. Serve over rice, brown rice or couscous.
Two quick recipe notes:
1) This recipe is really hard to screw up. I think the only instance where you need to be careful is when you add the flour to thicken the sauce. Be sure to add it gradually or else the flour can clump up in the sauce. Other than that, the only thing worth worrying about with this recipe is whether or not to eat the lemon slices. I do, Laura doesn't.
2) Calling all vegetarians: you can easily make this dish 100% veggie by substituting chickpeas for the chicken (two cups of cooked or canned chickpeas should suffice).
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