07 May 2015

Recipe: Turkish Spiced Chicken Minus a Few Things

Hello and happy Thursday!
Last week I tried a great new recipe from The Splendid Table. I listen to this NPR show every time I get the chance, and I'm always amazed by Lynn Rossetto Kasper's seemingly endless knowledge about all food-type things. Her easy-going, positive manner makes even ME think I'm capable of doing big things in the kitchen!

Alas, true to form, I left out some of the ingredients in the title. Good grief. Still, the recipe was yummy, and I can only imagine how good it would be if you made it correctly! :) 

First, I couldn't find green or red chiles at the grocery store. So I substituted a red bell pepper (not spicy at all but RED!) and a green poblano pepper (mildly spicy and also GREEN!). I also forgot to buy the green olives. But I had some kalamata olives in the fridge (I hoard them) so sacrificed a FEW for the good of the cause. I also used regular balsamic vinegar instead of white. Who knew there was such a thing anyway? And finally, I do not have a ridged pan, so I just used a regular skillet. My chicken (I actually used breasts, not thighs) didn't look as FANCY it might have, but it was still good!

So here's a link to the recipe, Turkish Spiced Chicken with Hot Green Relish. For convenience, I've copied it below. Do visit the website for more information. I highly recommend this recipe, with or without forgetting a few ingredients! :)

Turkish Spiced Chicken with Hot Green Relish

For the chicken:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

For the relish:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • sea salt flakes 
  • 1 green chile
  • 1 red chile
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • leaves from 8 sprigs of 
mint, torn
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • good squeeze of lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve

To marinate the chicken, mix the regular oil, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, garlic, and salt and pepper together to make a marinade. Make little slits all over the underside of the pieces of chicken with the point of a knife. Put the chicken into a dish. Add the marinade and roll the chicken in it to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.

 Make the relish just before you cook the chicken. Put the garlic and salt into a mortar and bash it with a pestle until it is crushed. Halve and seed both chiles and chop them roughly. Add them to the mortar with the cilantro, mint, and olives and bash everything together, gradually adding the virgin olive oil and balsamic until you have a rough paste (it should be chunky, not puréed). Add lemon juice to taste and set aside.

(OK, PEOPLE...the relish is good enough to eat with a spoon! And I did!)

 Heat a ridged grill pan. Lift the chicken out of the marinade, shake off the excess, and set it on the pan. Start off cooking it on medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 4 minutes. The chicken should be cooked right through and charred, but not burnt.

Serve the chicken with lemon wedges, rice or flatbread, a bowl of Greek yogurt, and the relish. Cucumber and a green salad are good, too.

From A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley 2015.

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