Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Macedonian Chicken with Spiced Roasted Carrots and Cucumber Tomato Salad

This month's issue of Bon Appetit magazine was a little flaky--full of that "all natural" heavy-on-the-grains, bee pollen (?) and "nutritional yeast" stuff that appears to have become all the rage in LA and New York (frankly, I am utterly shocked that somehow all this hippy food has ended up in a fancy culinary magazine!). It's a hemp-lover's dream...that's for sure.

...However, there were a few gems I spotted that were rather inspirational: a new take on good sauce reductions and an interesting blend of spices for roasted carrots. I felt the wheels turning, bringing together a series of flavors that are both confusing and mind-blowing. Try this out. You won't regret it!

First, we will start with the salad, since it needs some time to sit.

Cucumber Tomato Salad:

-3 large tomatoes, diced
-1 cucumber, diced
-1/4 cup white wine vinegar
-2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
-3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Combine everything, and let sit for about half an hour at room temperature.

Next, we will work on the carrots. Once they are in the oven, move to the chicken right away.

Spiced Roasted Carrots:

-1 lb. carrots, peeled and halved both ways, to form 4 inch (or so) pieces
-1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 7 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 tsp. onion powder
-1/4 tsp. garlic powder
-1 tsp. good quality curry powder or garam masala
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-Kosher salt
-juice of a lemon
-1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

Preheat oven to 425F.

Add half the yogurt, 1 clove of garlic, and 2 tbsp. olive oil to a bowl. Stir, add a sprinkle of salt, and set aside for serving.

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the turmeric and cook until fragrant. Set aside for serving.

Add the rest of the yogurt, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, curry, 1 clove of garlic, and 1 tsp. of salt to a bowl. Toss the carrots in this mixture and spread it on a cookie sheet that's covered with tin foil, making sure they aren't crowded.

Place in oven for 25-30 minutes, until crisp and dark in some spots.

Drizzle over the turmeric oil, yogurt, and a squeeze of lemon and serve.

As soon as you put the carrots in the oven, get started on the chicken. 

Macedonian Chicken:

-3-4 chicken breasts, evenly salted and peppered
-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
-zest of one lemon
-1/3 cup of white wine or homemade chicken stock
-1 knob of butter

Heat a stainless steel pan (not non-stick, or you won't get a golden brown crust or a good reduction) to medium-high heat. Once you wave your hand over and feel lots of heat, add a tablespoon of butter and of olive oil. Once it's sizzling and bubbling, place the chicken in. Cook for about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the meat. Only flip once, this way you will get the best amount of browning on each side.

Once cooked through, or a thermometer inserted reaching 160F, set aside on a plate.

Keep the pan over medium heat and add the rosemary, lemon zest, and wine. Scrape up the brown bits and let bubble until reduced by about half. Add a sprinkle of salt, to taste. Take off the heat and add the chunk of butter and stir until melted and creamy. Drizzle over chicken.

Serve everything together.