This delicious Middle Eastern meal is best made on the grill, although good results come from the oven, too. Serve with large rounds of flatbread with fillings like chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, black or green olives, chopped scallion, and even grated goat or lamb cheese. Let your meal companions make their own wraps!
- 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 4 tbsp Baharat Spice Blend
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Optional: 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, or in a large sealable bag. Add the chicken thighs and mix to coat. Marinate overnight, up to 24 hours.
- Combine and mix the yoghurt sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- To grill: Heat the grill to medium high. Grill the chicken on each side about 5 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through. Tent loosely in foil and rest 5 minutes.
To pan fry: Heat a heavy pan on the stovetop on medium high. Cook the chicken until nicely charred on each side and cooked through. Tent loosely in foil and rest 5 minutes.
- Slice the chicken and pile on a platter.
To Serve: Slather a flatbread with the yoghurt sauce, then top with chicken and toppings.
To roll up: first fold the bottom up about ⅓ of the way, then roll from one side across to the other, tucking around the meat and vegetables.
- You can freeze the chicken thighs in a freezer bag with the marinade days ahead. As the chicken and marinade defrost, it will marinate!
- You can cook the chicken a day ahead, or the morning before an afternoon or evening party, and reheat it prior to serving. Mix the reheated chicken slices with the marinade and it will be perfect.
Kashmiri Masala Chicken
This dish is a bit more involved, and provides a taste treat that makes it well worth the effort!
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- ½” fresh ginger, grated
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tbl coriander powder
- 2½ – 3 lbs chicken parts
- 6 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1″ fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbl Kashmiri Garam Masala
- 4 tbl oil (olive, coconut, or pure peanut)
- 3 medium sized onions, finely diced
- 4 medium sized tomatoes, finely diced or grated
- leaves stripped from 1 bunch cilantro, separated into two parts
- 1 cup water
- Make a paste by mincing the garlic, grating the ginger, and mixing both with the turmeric and coriander powder. Mix until a paste forms.
- Place chicken parts in a bowl, and toss to coat with the paste. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.
- In a blender, combine and thoroughly blend the garlic, ginger and Kashmiri Garam Masala.
- Heat the oil in a heavy, deep-sided pot (I use a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add onions. Turn the heat to low and fry until golden brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
Add the garlic-ginger-garam masala paste and cook 2-3 minutes until nicely fragrant.
- Add the chicken pieces and their marinade. Mix thoroughly to combine the seasonings and completely coat the chicken.
- Add the tomatoes. (Grated or finely chopped is better than blended, for a desired grainier texture.)
- Continue cooking until the oil starts to separate and the gravy is dry, 15-20 minutes.
Add ½ the bunch of cilantro leaves and 1 cup water. Cover and cook another 15 minutes until the chicken meat is cooked through and tender.
- Garnish with the remainder of the cilantro leaves and serve with rice.
Easy Oven-Baked Chicken Breast Dinner
Here’s a complete mid-week dinner that can be on the table in 30 minutes!
- 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or equivalent amount of chicken tenders
- 1½ tbsp Sweet Carolina spice blend
- 3 garden-fresh tomatoes, sliced into thick (¼”) rounds
- 3 garden-fresh onions (sweet Vidalia is a great choice), sliced into thick (¼”) rounds
- 1 tbsp Sweet Carolina spice blend mixed into ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp prepared bread crumbs (optional)
- Before starting your busy day, place chicken breasts in the refrigerator to thaw. (We usually set frozen food in the refrigerator the night before.)
- When you return home, crank the oven on to 350° F to pre-heat.
- Remove the thawed chicken from the package, rinse, pat dry. Then coat on all sides with Sweet Carolina spice blend.
- Place on a full-sized cookie sheet or in a large baking pan. (Put down a sheet of parchment paper first to make cleanup a breeze.)
- Place tomato and onion rounds on the same baking sheet as the chicken.
- Mix 1 tbsp Sweet Carolina spice blend with cup sour cream and optional bread crumbs. Spread over the tops of the tomatoes and onions.
- Place tray in heated oven and bake 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Serve immediately, perhaps with a fresh garden salad.
Doro Wat (Chicken Stew)
Doro Wat is one of the most popular North African dishes, and can be found in almost every Ethiopian restaurant. It takes 3 hours to make this superb slow-cooked, nutritious, and flavor-rich meal, and it is oh so worth it!
Substitute beef and the dish is called Sik Sik Wat. It is also delicious with pork and lamb. This is truly an all-purpose main dish recipe!
- 3 lbs chicken cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 T fresh lemon juice
- 2 T butter
- 2 T extra virgin olive, pure peanut, or coconut oil
- 3 C yellow onions, finely minced/pureed
- 1 T finely minced garlic
- 1 T finely minced ginger
- 1 T butter
- 1/4 cup Berbere Spice Blend
- 2 T butter
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 cup White wine mixed with 1 t honey
- 1 cup Chicken stock
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and pierced all over with a fork 1/4-inch deep
- Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and pour the lemon juice over them. Let them sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes. (Or leave it on the counter while you do Steps 2 – 4, 95 minutes.)
- Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven. Add onions and sauté, covered, over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic, ginger, and 1 T butter. Continue to sauté, covered, another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add Berbere Spice Blend and 2 T butter. Continue to sauté, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken, broth, and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Adjust seasonings, adding more Berbere according to your preference. Add the hardboiled eggs, simmer on low heat, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Serve with a side of rice.
- Cut each egg in half and use a half egg as a plate garnish.
- Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro over the dish as a colorful and tasty garnish.
- Sprinkle diced fresh tomato over the dish for a cooling color and taste contrast.
20-Minute Mediterranean Chicken Stir-Fry!
Here’s a lean and tasty one-pan meal for mid-week “hump day!”
1. Thaw 1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken all day in the refrigerator.
Tip: Use pre-cut chicken tenders to make this an easier meal to prepare. Whole breasts will need to be sliced into tenders. Thighs can also be used if you prefer dark meat.
2. Rinse the chicken pieces, pat them dry, and if necessary slice them into chicken tender-size strips.
3. In a bowl, toss the sliced chicken with 1-2 tablespoons Lemon-Pepper Herb Blend. Coat thoroughly and set aside.
4. Prepare 3 cups of summer vegetables.
Suggestions: Slice yellow squash or zucchini into 1/4″ thick rounds; snap or cut green beans and baby asparagus into 1/2″ lengths; slice a fresh tomato into thin (1/2″) wedges; slice a stalk of celery thinly; cut a sweet red or green bell pepper, or a carrot, into matchstick-sized pieces; chop up some leaves of spinach or kale; thinly slice a sweet onion or several scallions; add some bean sprouts.
5. Heat a large skillet on medium temperature with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
6. When the oil is hot, add the chicken strips and brown on all sides.
7. Add the vegetables and (optionally) a little water. If you have a lid to cover the skillet, turn the heat down and cover – the vegetables will steam, cooking faster.
8. When the harder vegetables are al dente (or to your liking), turn off the heat and sprinkle up to 1 tbsp Lemon-Pepper Herb Blend over the dish. (Optionally also add a pinch or two of salt.) Stir and serve.
Optional: garnish with whole green olives.
Optional: serve with a side of sliced fresh mozzarella drizzled in olive oil with a drop or two of balsamic vinegar added, and sprinkled with Italian seasonings.
Smoky Maple Whole Chicken
Perk up your next Saturday chicken dinner! (Substitute chicken pieces for a quicker cooking time.)
1. Pre-heat oven to 325 F.
2. Rinse whole chicken inside and out. Drain and pat dry. Place in shallow casserole dish, back side down.
3. Lightly coat the chicken top and sides with olive oil, using your hands or a basting brush.
4. Thoroughly coat chicken with Smoky Maple spice blend.
Hint: Chicken skin keeps moisture in, but also works against the seasoning flavor penetrating into the meat. So, work the rub under the skin as much as you can. (I even make slits in the skin to stuff spice under more of the skin, especially over the breast meat.)
5. Sprinkle up to a tablespoon of Smoky Maple blend into the body cavity.
6. Bake at 325 F until the meat in the thigh-body joint is 165 F. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.
1. Baste and Au Jus: Make a baste of:
- 4 oz rum
- 3 tbsp fresh lime (or lemon) juice
- 1 tbsp brown sugar.
Lightly baste the chicken before placing in oven. Baste every 20 minutes while it cooks, being careful to not brush off the Smoky Maple spice. Baste once more when you remove it from the oven to rest.
While the chicken is resting, pour off the accumulated baste and chicken juices. Using a tablespoon, skim off excess (but not all) fat, then gently heat on the stovetop to make a pleasant au jus to drizzle over sliced chicken pieces, or to flavor a side dish, such as steamed cauliflower or broccoli, or baked potatoes.
2. Gravy and Broth: If your chicken came with chicken parts, place the neck, gizzard, liver, and heart in a small sauce pan with one coarsely chopped onion, celery stalk, and carrot, one bay leaf, and (optionally) half a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns. Cover and simmer on low while the chicken bakes. Then, while the chicken is resting, strain the broth.
Pour the juices from the chicken roasting pan into a large skillet. Place on stovetop on a medium heat. Using a tablespoon, skim off excess floating fat, then whisk in 1-2 tablespoons white flower until there are no lumps and the liquid has thickened. Turn heat down and slowly add broth, whisking briskly, to thin to desired gravy thickness. Then season lightly with salt and Smoky Maple seasoning. Use it to garnish the chicken pieces.
Tip: Save the remaining broth in an airtight container in your fridge. Use it as broth in future chicken, pork, or lamb dishes; or as the base of a side of summer vegetable soup or chicken soup.
Easy Hungarian Chicken Thighs
Pair these delicious chicken thighs with a fresh green salad!
- 8 chicken thighs
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3½ tbsp Hungarian Spice Blend
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 3 whole tomatoes, peeled
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1½ cup water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Sauté onion in butter until tender.
- Add Hungarian Spice Blend and stir. Add diced green pepper, then add chicken and stir to coat all sides of the chicken.
- Sauté 15 minutes to brown. Add the water, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 45 minutes.
- Remove chicken, set aside.
- Mix sour cream and ¼ cup water. Add flour and whisk smooth. Add to liquid from cooking the chicken, stirring constantly until thick.
- Return chicken to the pot. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Tasty Grilled Chicken
Here’s a Southwest grilled chicken recipe that makes great chicken tacos or fajitas!
- 3 tbsp Mellow Santa Fe spice blend
- 1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- shredded lettuce
- diced tomatoes
- grated Monterey Jack cheese (perhaps with jalapeno peppers)
- sour cream
1. In a small bowl mix Mellow Santa Fe blend, brown sugar, and olive or coconut oil. Mix until crumbles form.
2. Thoroughly and generously coat chicken breasts with the mixture and place in a baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
3. Grill at a medium heat 6-8 minutes on each side until cooked through.
4. Rest for 5 minutes, then slice into strips and serve as is, or with soft tortillas and taco garnishes.
Side Dish Suggestion: Corn Salad
Ahead of time, cook 6 ears of corn. Let cool, then cut the kernels off the cobs.
In a large bowl, mix the corn kernels with
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 3 tablespoons red wine (or apple cider) vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and ground black pepper.
Cover and chill.
When ready to serve, mix in 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves.
A creamy dish with a spice infusion. The heat grows in the cooking, so test and add more spice at the end to meet your heat preference!
- 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken (I prefer thighs, you might like breasts), cubed
- ½ cup diced onion
- 4 oz (¼ cup) butter
- 2 tbsp pure peanut oil, separated (coconut or olive will do)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (see recipe, below)
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp + 2 tsp Spicy Hot spice blend
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 cup half-and-half
- ¼ cup plain full-fat yogurt
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- Sauté the onions in 1 tbsp peanut oil until translucent.
Tip: Most commercial peanut oils are either diluted with cheaper vegetable oil, or contaminated with an anti-foaming agent. Both additives are harmful to your health. (Most vegetable oils burn at low temperatures, and burned oil irradiates body cells when consumed.) We only cook with heat-tolerant coconut, olive, and peanut oils (palm is also good), butter, and occasionally tallow or lard that we render from organic, grass-raised pig or cow fat. We source peanut oil by purchasing pure peanut butter and pouring off most of the natural oil that separates during storage.
- Add the butter, ginger-garlic paste (directions below), lemon juice, 1 tbsp Kashmiri Garam Masala, 2 tsp Spicy Hot spice blend, and bay leaf. Stir briefly until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add tomato puree and stir another minute.
- Add yogurt and cream, reduce temperature to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- While the sauce simmers, in a large skillet heat 1 tbsp peanut oil, add chicken pieces, and brown (10-12 minutes).
- Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala and 2 tsp Spicy Hot spice blend.
- Add ½ cup of the finished sauce to the chicken and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened. Then transfer the chicken and sauce to the main pot of sauce.
- Mix the cornstarch and water thoroughly. Pour into the butter chicken dish. Simmer on medium-low until the sauce thickens.
Serve on a bed of rice.
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and diced fresh tomatoes.
Put ½ cup whole garlic cloves and ½ cup peeled fresh ginger, with ¼ cup olive oil, in a small food processor and run until it forms a semi-smooth paste. (There will be tiny pieces, but overall it should resemble a paste.)
Keeps well in a glass jar in the refrigerator at least 3 weeks.
Use to spice up marinades, pasta sauces, stir fry sauces, slow-cooker recipes, gravy, etc.