Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quinoa Pilaf and “Middle Eastern” Chicken

This “Middle Eastern” Chicken recipe from Gourmet Magazine was just ok. It wasn't anything special and honestly tasted like a quick go-to marinade I might typically do before grilling. The thyme, oregano and curry were simply lost in the soy. The whole thing was just muddled and boring. I wouldn't bother with it again.

The quinoa pilaf on the other hand was really good! I had issues with getting the water to all absorb - it took longer than the 15 minutes - but that was my fault I'm sure. I also over salted. When the recipe called for a teaspoon and a half of kosher salt, my gut told me that seemed crazy. I know better than to trust a Food Network recipe 100%! Regardless of all of this, the quinoa was still really good. I always love the combo of shallots, mushrooms and thyme. It reminds me of my chicken marsala and that was one of the first fancy dishes I ever made. I'd make it again.

*Pardon my photo this week. I'm not sure why my camera insisted on making things so yellow! This was the only pic I took that wasn't horrible and you can’t even see the quinoa!

I didn't enjoy the chicken. I'm already looking for something to do with the leftovers. Middle Eastern Chicken Salad? Eh... I wouldn't bother with that chicken recipe again.

But the quinoa... wow... I loved it. So delicious. Have I mentioned how much I love mushrooms? I would say that I used about a cup of mushrooms instead of the 1/2 cup that the recipe called for. I'm glad I did. Half a cup just didn't seem to be enough. Make this recipe! Just pair it with something other than the chicken.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go eat mushroom quinoa, then figure out what to do with leftover Middle Eastern chicken.

Middle Eastern Chicken
1/4 cup low-salt soy sauce
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons dry Sherry
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
2 skinless boneless whole chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds), halved
vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 small onion, sliced thin

In a ceramic or glass container stir together soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, lime juice, Sherry, garlic, gingerroot, curry powder, thyme, and oregano and add chicken. Marinate chicken, covered and chilled, turning occasionally, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towel. Reserve marinade.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray Heat skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and cook chicken 1 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer chicken to a plate. To skillet add 2 tablespoons water and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping up brown bits, 30 seconds. Add onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add chicken, reserved marinade and remaining 1/4 cup water and simmer, covered basting chicken frequently, 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken over couscous if desired.

Quinoa Pilaf with Crimini Mushrooms
1 tablespoon kosher for Passover olive oil
1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves removed from their stems
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups vegetable stock, or water

Place a saucepan on high heat and get it hot. Add the olive oil and swirl it around to make sure the entire surface is covered with oil. Add the shallot and sweat (cook until translucent but not brown). Add the crimini mushrooms and cook until brown. Add the quinoa, thyme leaves, bay leaf, kosher salt and black pepper to the pan and stir. Let the ingredients heat up and roast a little to bring out all their fullest flavors. The steam coming up should be very aromatic.

Slowly and carefully add the vegetable stock (it will spatter because the pan and ingredients are hot). When it comes to full boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and allow to steam for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove lid and fluff the quinoa and then replace the lid and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.

Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary. Serve.

1 comment:

  1. This looks really yummy! I love quinoa but I've never tried Quinoa Pilaf and “Middle Eastern” Chicken ever before. I'm so excited to try this recipe of yours and I'm sure my loved ones will definitely love it. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. :)