Monday, October 2, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Delicious and distinctive roast chicken with carrots

Last week, in the middle of the Jewish holidays, my eye was caught by this recipe for chicken and carrots, marinated with honey, citrus, and mustard.  The commenters on the New York Times site were extremely enthusiastic about the recipe, so I gave it a try, incorporating a number of their suggestions (like doubling the marinade, using skinned thighs instead of a cut-up chicken, and adding potatoes). The recipe definitely lived up to their claims!  Although I made this just for David and me, it would be a great dish for guests, because the whole thing can be set up to marinate 24 hours in advance, and then all that's left to do is to put it in the oven. When I made it, I forgot to add the garnishes. I'm eager to make it again and include them the next time, even though it was delicious without. This is not your ordinary chicken-with-roasted-vegetables!

SWEET AND SPICY ROAST CHICKEN
adapted from https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016808-sweet-and-spicy-roast-chicken (using several changes suggested by NYTimes readers)
makes 6 servings
In the video at the above link, Melissa Clark explains how she came up with this recipe.

Marinade (Note: A number of New York Times commenters suggested doubling the amount of marinade, so that's what I did, and that's how the amounts below were set. This made more than enough marinade, so if you wanted to use less than this—say 2/3 of amounts given—that would also work.)
2 lemons for blanched slices (step 1)
6 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T. kosher salt
6 T. freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 c. olive oil
3 T. whole grain mustard
6 T. honey (I used 3 T.  honey + 3 T. pomegranate molasses, as suggested by one commenter; see below for how to make pomegranate molasses—very simple. I had some on hand leftover from something I made a month ago.)
1 bay leaf
1 t. crushed red pepper
lots of freshly ground black pepper

chicken and vegetables
2-1/4 lbs. chicken thighs, bone in (I skinned before cooking) (or 1 4-lb chicken cut into 8 pieces)
3 cups sliced carrots, sliced 1/4" thick (about 7 carrots)
1 onion, halved horizontally and thinly sliced
2/3 cup sliced dates (can substitute raisins)
1 t. dried thyme (or 1 T. fresh)
12 baby potatoes, cut into eighths (or eliminate potatoes and serve on top of rice or couscous)

garnish
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, parsley, or mint
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cups chopped toasted pistachio nuts

1.     Quarter the lemon lengthwise, removing any seeds.  Slice crosswise, quite thinly, into small wedges and add to small pot of boiling, salted water. Blanch for 2 minutes and drain.  Set aside.
2.     In a saucepan, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool. (I put it in the refrigerator while I prepped the chicken and vegetables).
3.     Put the chicken in a bowl (or into a jumbo ziploc bag, which is what I did) and add the cooled marinade. Add carrots, onion, dates, potatoes, thyme, and blanched lemon slices. Turn mixture until all is coated.  Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.  (Or, if you're making the same day, you can marinate for as little as 30 minutes at room temperature.)
4.     Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
5.     Prepare a sheet pan with a rim:  Spray it with oil, even though you'll be covering it with foil, for easier clean-up.  Cover the sheet pan with foil. (I "seamed" together two lengths of foil to be sure the foil went up and over all sides of the pan; several Times readers commented on how hard the pan was to clean if juices baked onto it.)
6.     Transfer all ingredients to the pan, including the marinade. Put the chicken as the top layer; if using chicken with skin on, put skin side up.  Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 20-30 minutes for breasts and 30-40 for legs and wings.  Remove pieces as they are done cooking; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.  Give the carrot mixture a stir and continue roasting until the carrots are tender, about 7-12 minutes longer.
7.     Spoon the vegetables over the chicken and top with the garnishes.

Pomegranate molasses
adapted from http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pomegranate_molasses/

4 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. lemon juice


In a large, wide, uncovered saucepan and medium high heat, heat all the ingredients until the sugar dissolves and the juice simmers.  Reduce heat to maintain a simmer.  Simmer for about an hour, until the juice has a syrupy consistency and has reduced to about 1 or 1-1/4 cups.  Pour into a jar; let cool. Store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about 6 months.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

One more recipe from Croatia: Fresh Tuna Salad with Arugula and Warm Potatoes


Towards the end of our recent travels in Croatia, David and I stopped in Opatija for lunch.  You can see the restaurant in the photo above: looking at the closed oval of water, you'll see a rectangular building at one end--that's the restaurant.  The oval was a kind of ocean swimming pool, shallow enough to walk around in, which I did a bit of.  But this post is about the food.  I had a delicious salad with fresh tuna, arugula, and warm potatoes.  Once I was home, I searched the web for a recipe that was close, and found one I could use--a recipe for "Warm Potato with Arugula Salad" to which I just had to add tuna.  Of course, making it at home is different from eating it right by the sea, but it was still lovely.  I used frozen tuna.  It might also be nice with salmon.

FRESH tuna salad with arugula and warm potatoes
adaptation of salad eaten in Opatija, Croatia, with help from http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/warm-potato-salad-arugula

1-1/2 pounds white potatoes, scrubbed
3-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
2-1/4 teaspoons sherry or red wine vinegar
1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
2-1/2 oz. baby arugula (about 4 cups)
about 14 oz. fresh (frozen) tuna

Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut the potatoes into 3/4" cubes. Scatter the potato cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss until coated. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 25-30 minutes, until browned and crisp.
Pan-fry or grill the fish, then cut into bite-size pieces.


In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the mustard and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the onion and arugula; add the fish. Top with the dressing, toss again and serve right away.