Monthly Archives: December 2014

Pan-Cooked Chicken in a Fragrant Cumin-Carrot Sauce

Chicken_with_Carrots_and_Cumin2 (1 of 1)Last night, we felt like making something that you might see on a menu in a Parisian bistro, so I made this delicious (and apparently classic bistro) chicken dish. To me, it is a cross between Indian and Moroccan flavors, but I’m guessing the influence is mainly Moroccan for historical reasons. Anyway, all of that is good (love the ginger and lemon in it!). Paired this with a nice pinot gris, simple green beans and nice crusty fresh bread — it’s a wonderful little meal, and I hope you’ll try it tonight!

6 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbsp peeled and finely grated ginger
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp salt, divided
3/4 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Fill a medium sauce pan 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 2/3 of the carrots, and bring back to a boil. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp of the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, and reduce heat to low. Sauté gently for 4 minutes. Add ginger and sauté another 1 minute. Add the remaining carrots and stir for 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, cumin seeds, 1 tsp of the salt and 1/4 of the pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 6 minutes. Pour contents into a food processor and process until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Pour the carrot sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl (discarding any solids) and return to sauté pan. Stir in the reserved boiled carrots and the parsley, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover and keep warm while you prepare the chicken.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Rub remaining 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper all over chicken breasts. Add chicken to pan and cook on one side for 8 minutes. Turn breasts over and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle. Transfer chicken to the carrot sauce and turn over a few times to coat. Place each chicken breast in a bowl and ladle the sauce over each. Garnish with additional chopped parsley, if desired. Serve with fresh bread.

Serves 4.

Chicken with Olives, Rosemary and Peas

Chicken_with_Olives1 (1 of 1)This dish is from Rome, and is prepared with wonderfully fresh and simple ingredients that are typical of Mediterranean cooking. The key to this type of dish is the anchovy paste (or crushed anchovies), which adds a necessary depth of flavor that isn’t at all fishy in the final product. This recipe smelled so great while cooking that family members, cats and dogs were hanging out underfoot, waiting to sample it — I hope you’ll try it tonight!

2 lbs, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup flavorful black olives (such as Kalmata), pitted and halved lengthwise
1 tsp anchovy paste
1/2 cup peas
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Combine chicken, salt and pepper in a bowl, and set aside.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken and brown for 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, rosemary and wine. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in olives, anchovy paste and peas. Cover and simmer 15 minutes (cover partially for last 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in red wine vinegar and serve with fresh bread or steamed white rice.

Serves 4.