Margaux says

This dish is a staple in our household.  The chicken is perfect: juicy, flavorful and perfectly cooked every time.   The carrots are super delicious…my husband, who doesn’t like cooked carrots, even loves them.  It’s also very easy to make, and can be a relatively quick weeknight meal.  You need to have the preserved lemons in order to make this (I made it without them once and the chicken wasn’t nearly as good!).  If Meyer lemons aren’t available (and they’re not right now…they’re only in season from February-April), you can use regular lemons.   And you can buy preserved lemons in some stores, like Whole Foods, but they’re not NEARLY as good as homemade.

Aunt Suzy says

I also love this recipe and Margaux is reminding me that we have not made this in a long, long time!  I just noticed carrots available for the first time at the farmer’s market last weekend, so I have a hunch this will be on our menu soon.  The original recipe for this did not call for preserved lemon, instead calling for thin slices of lemon placed over the chicken.  I’ve made it both ways and like it with the preserved lemon better – but then I love preserved lemon!!  Sparkle Rice seems to be a perfect match for this dish, but I’ve been thinking of experimenting with Isreali Couscous lately as a side dish.  The original recipe suggested an off-dry riesling or a rose – either is perfect!

MOROCCAN-STYLE CHICKEN WITH SPICED CARROTS

Serves 4

The Carrots

6-8 large carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

pinch cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Peel the carrots.  Using a study vegetable peeler, cut carrots into lengthwise ribbons.


Toast the cumin seeds lightly and then crush in a mortar and pestle.  Toast the coriander seeds. (I toast them together and crush both.)   Toss the carrots with all remaining ingredients and place in a 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 500 degrees in the upper third of the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes – stir after 4 minutes.

The Chicken and Finishing

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs OR 4 boneless, skinless breast halves (we always use breasts)

1/8” wide strips of preserved lemon (or thin slices of whole lemon, cut cross-wise)

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (we always use more, but then we’re cilantro lovers!)

Brush the chicken lightly with olive oil and place on top of the carrots after they have baked per above.  Place the strips of preserved lemon or fresh lemon slices on top of the chicken.  Put back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes more (depending on thickness of the breasts), until the juices run clear.  Don’t overcook.  Place chicken on a platter.  Toss the carrots with the cilantro and place beside the chicken on the platter.

Sparkle Rice

Sauté in a little vegetable oil until soft – 2-4 garlic cloves, minced; 1-2 tablespoons chopped ginger; 1 medium onion, diced; 2 carrots, diced.

Add 2 cups white basmati rice and sauté till translucent.  Add a little less than 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth and 5 whole cloves and a 2-inch piece of cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till the broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Let sit for a few minutes, then remove the cloves and cinnamon and stir to blend.  Add some golden raisins if you wish.

Eggs for Dinner

May 16, 2010

Aunt Suzy says . . .

Margaux and I have been emailing back and forth lately about how we have noticed a focus on eggs for dinner in the food blogs we follow and the magazines we get. It’s been quite amazing how many things we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks, including a page on my Page-A-Day wine calendar about what wines pair well with dinner-style egg dishes! We both agree that we love eggs for dinner, so we took advantage of my visit to Chicago to make this delicious Spanish Tortilla. We also were trying to think of things we could make with Preserved Lemon when I remembered this great Moroccan tomato salad. It tasted really good with the tortilla!

Margaux says . . . Ironically, I’d been making eggs for lunch and dinner for a few weeks before we even started talking about it. Its really easy, and I know Desi will eat it.  So when we started going back and forth about it, I thought, “wow, everyone has eggs on the brain!”  It must be a seasonal favorite. 

Aunt Suzy says . . .

A note about the Chorizo: this recipe uses Spanish-style Chorizo which is smoked vs. Mexican-style Chorizo which is fresh. Since authentic Spanish Chorizo costs a pretty penny, I have always used the chicken Chorizo sold in places like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. This time we used TJ’s chicken Andouille, which is a good substitute.

Asparagus and Chorizo “Tortilla” (like a frittata)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 ounces thin asparagus, tough ends discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 ounces Spanish chorizo, cut into ¼-inch dice

8 eggs

1 cup grated Manchego cheese

¼ cup chopped parsley, divided (optional)

Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet with sloping sides over medium high heat. (The best for this is either a non-stick or a cast iron like Le Creuset). When oil is hot, add asparagus and chorizo and cook, stirring, until asparagus pieces are just tender and chorizo is slightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Remove asparagus and chorizo from the skillet and set aside. Remove skillet from heat, wipe with a paper towel and set aside.

Whisk eggs, ½ teaspoon salt, black pepper to taste and the cayenne pepper to blend. Stir in cheese and 2 tablespoons of parsley.

Place remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet and set on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, pour half the egg mixture into the pan. Cook about a minute, tilting the pan and loosening the edges with a spatula. Sprinkle the asparagus and chorizo over the eggs and then pour in the remaining egg mixture. Reduce heat to medium and cook the eggs, continuously loosening the edges with a spatula and tilting the pan to let the uncooked egg mixture run under the cooked part. Cook until the underside is golden and set but the egg mixture on top is slightly liquid, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the center rack of the oven. Bake until top is set, about 4-5 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t overcook. If the eggs on top are not done at this point, you can turn the broiler on and broil the top for 2-3 minutes.

Remove skillet from the oven and let rest for a minute. Using a spatula, carefully loosen the tortilla from the pan and slide it onto a serving plate. (The tortilla will be half to ¾-inch thick.) Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature cut into wedges.

Moroccan Tomato Salad with Preserved Lemon

Salad

4-6 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or seeded and diced fresh tomatoes

½ medium red onion, diced

½ cup cilantro, stems removed and chopped

½ cup parsley, stems removed and chopped

½ preserved lemon, diced (pulp removed and discarded)

Dressing

3 Tablespoons fruity olive oil

2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Juice of one clove garlic (use garlic press to squeeze the juice and discard the pulp)

1 teaspoon paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Mix all dressing ingredients thoroughly and pour over salad. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Serve as is or over a bed of lettuce on a platter.