Monday, November 1, 2010

North African Chicken

In my never ending quest to keep things exciting in the kitchen, the other night I took my tastebuds on a trip and made what I'm now calling North African Chicken. I have a collection of miscellaneous, loose recipes that I recently perused, and left a recipe for North African Meatballs on top with the hope that I'd make it before it got lost in the stack again. The thing that intrigued me about this recipe was the combination of ingredients in the sauce.

I've been making a lot of meatballs lately and didn't have any ground meat in reserve. But I did have two chicken breasts and all the other ingredients the recipe called for, so I got down to business and made a flavorful, exotic, low fat dish that simmered on the stove top for 40 minutes. It's another quick, one-pot wonder that I'll definately make again.

I have no idea where the original recipe came from since my copy was handwritten by me, so I can't give anyone credit. I'm thinking it was an internet site where no name was published. Anyway, thank you internet.

North African Chicken

2 tsp canola oil
1 cup onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 lemon zested
12 olives chopped (original recipe called for 1/2 cup) I used Kalamata
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup white wine
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1 tsp sugar
black pepper
2 chicken breasts, skinned with bones left in
2 cups cooked brown rice (my contribution)

Salt and pepper chicken breasts and set aside. In large saucepan saute onion in oil over medium low heat. You want to sweat the onions and not brown them (about 5-7 minutes). Add garlic and cook another minute more. Add lemon zest, olives, cinnamon and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute. Add white wine and let it reduce for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and water. Add a pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and sugar. Bring to boil and add seasoned chicken breasts. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook 35 to 40 minutes. Remove chicken, cool slightly and take the meat off the bones. Place chicken pieces back into the sauce and serve.

I added 2 cups of cooked brown rice to my dish and it was delicious. However, I did some research after preparing this, and discovered that couscous is a staple in the North African kitchen, and that would be a wonderful way to soak up the aromatic liquid.

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