As the weather gets seasonably cold, I love the oven on and the pot simmering on the stove-top.
Nothing There are very few things that excite me more than playing with flavors coming up with something different, and of course when the flavors come together to form a dish that need about 15 to 20 minutes of attention, I am ready to dance while cooking. Ok, I just made that up, but it does really make me very happy when I come up with something that is flavorful and light on both time and calories.
The next few weeks, I shall be sharing food that can be happily enjoyed to celebrate with friends and family. This rather simple dish is full of the flavors of deep cumin and sumac and gets done effortlessly in the oven. It has hints of the Mediterranean and will work wonderfully over a bed of Quinoa or couscous. I thing this will also do well for pot lucks and meals on the go, because the chicken can be assembled and baked just when you are ready and of course baked and then re-heated allowing the flavors to deepen and mature.
Now, let me tell you a secret, I chanced on this dish when I had run out of coriander seeds and had to improvise for dinner. So, I doubled the cumin and it resulted in this creation. The spices would work well on lamb and pork and with some adjustment of timing possibly on a nice piece of salmon. The point that I am trying to make is the cooking is often a matter of spontaneity and most of my recipes are very forgiving.
A simple and flavorful baked chicken dish, that is perfect for easy entertaining or for a pot luck as it expands easily.
- 11/2 tablespoons of whole cumin seeds
- 2 dried red chili peppers
- 1 tablespoon sumac
- 11/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika
- 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
- 3 pods of garlic, minced
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Chopped cilantro and mint to garnish
- In a small skillet lightly roast the cumin seeds and red chili peppers. This should be done for about 2 minutes until the cumin is fragrant and darkens a few shades.
- Place the cumin and red chilies in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Mix in with the powdered sumac.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the chicken in a bake-proof baking dish. Rub the chicken with the cumin spice mixture.
- Add in the ginger, garlic and mix well.
- Add in the salt to taste and the olive oil.
- Bake the chicken for about 30 minutes, by now, the chicken should be well browned, tender and turning crisp at points.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with the cilantro and mint and serve with couscous, rice or warm pita bread.