A lovely dish to make when you are running out of ideas… but equally so for its enchanting aroma!
For a full chicken breast
1- Boil the free range chicken breast in water with a handful of fresh cilantro and a teaspoon of whole black pepper grains. Make sure you take out the cilantro and the grains once the chicken is cooked.
2- Let the chicken cool and gently shred with your fingers.
3- In a large plan, place a little bit of olive oil. Add four garlic cloves crushed and about three centimetres of fresh ginger also crushed. Add some ground black pepper, but just a bit.
4- Once the garlic and the ginger let out their aroma, add two generous teaspoons of the Persian spice mix Adviye. If you do not have it at hand, just look up the ingredients in this recipe and just add them up.
5- Then add four to five tomatoes cut in small cubes. You can leave the skin. I do.
6- Mix well and when the tomatoes start giving out their liquid, add the shredded chicken. Mix well and add a handful of fresh cilantro chopped.
7- Let the chicken and the tomatoes cook for about 15 minutes uncovered on low fire. Mix frequently.
I served it with basmati rice cooked with raisins and avocado.
Wonderful chicken in the oven recipe with rosemary and lime. It comes out so tender and tasty, I almost felt I was in Paris!
Recipe for one free range chicken – 1.7 kg
Preparing the chicken
1- Place the chicken in a large oven pan.
2- Rub over its skin, under it, inside, everywhere you can: 40 gr of butter, one lime cut in quarters, half a red onion cut in cubes, and three generous springs of rosemary. Make a few indentation in the chicken with a knife and try and put some of that mixture inside.
3- Using a mortar and pestle crush a tablespoon of black pepper and a tablespoon of coarse salt. Rub the chicken with it.
4- Slice another lime and cut each slice in three. Along with the rosemary mixture, rub the chicken some more, and place some of that mixture inside the chicken. (you can use a yellow lemon if you do not have limes at hand)
Cooking the chicken
1- Place the chicken in a pre-heated 180º c oven for 10 minutes.
2- Add a glass of water to the pan and lower the temperature to 140º c.
3- Cook for two and half hours. Midway, empty the chicken by tilting it, and use the liquid to moister it entirely.
I served it with plain rice and an arugula salad, and of course, some Dijon mustard on the side!
Another delight with saffron inspired by a recipe in this book “The Saffron Tales”!
I served it with potato Kuku (recipe here) and a yoghurt salad with cucumber and mint (recipe here, minus the garlic, as there is enough of it with the chicken). I used free range chicken and it was delicious!
I prepared the chicken in cubes from breast filets, and you can also prepare this dish with chicken parts (with bones and skin). The trick to make it really tender is to let it marinate for at least four hours. In my case, I leave it all night, preparing it just before I go to bed and cooking it in time for lunch.
For two filets of chicken breast
1- Prepare the chicken: cut and clean, and set aside. If you are making it with whole pieces, make sure you discard the excess fat and place some cuts in the meat so that it takes in the marinade.
2- In a bowl mix: three quarters of a cup of Greek styled yoghurt, two garlic cloves crushed, a teaspoon of brown sugar (this helps bring all the flavours together), half a teaspoon of turmeric, the juice of one lime, two tablespoons of Saffron liquid (recipe here), two tablespoons of light olive oil, and some salt and pepper to taste.
3- Place the chicken pieces in a glass (not plastic!) container and make sure they are all well coated. Cover and place in the fridge. As I wrote earlier, let it stand for at least four hours.
4- In an oven baking dish, place the chicken pieces without any excess yoghurt sauce, and cook for 40 to 50 minutes in a 180º c. oven. Mix from time to time so that the pieces cook evenly. All the liquid should have evaporated by the time it is done.
Serve topped with freshly chopped cilantro, accompanied by rice or potatoes, and a nice cucumber salad.
This was absolutely delicious and the aroma divine. I was inspired by this recipe and changed a few things. (link)
For a whole organic chicken (about 1.5 kg)
1- In a mortar, grind five cloves of garlic, a generous amount of fresh ginger root, a few mint leaves and a generous handful of cilantro previously chopped. (All the ingredients I used were organic).
2- Place the chicken in a baking dish (you can leave it whole or cut it in pieces), and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3- Take the garlic and ginger mix adding a few drops of olive oil (or coconut oil) and using your hands spread it all over the chicken, under the skin and inside.
4- Place in the oven at 190º C. and bake. Turn the chicken every 15 minutes on each of its sides. This should take about 45 minutes to an hour.
5- Mix the juice of three limes with one generous tablespoon of honey. Mix well until all the honey is diluted. Pour on the chicken and let it bake another 15 minutes this time with the oven a little hotter, at 200 º C.
I served it with white basmati rice and hot green chilis on the side.
This is a wonderful way to make salsa verde or “green sauce” – a typical Mexican sauce made with “tomates” (as they are known in Mexico – “tomatoes” are known as “jitomates”) or “tomatillo” or “Mexican husk tomatoes” as they are known in English.
The sauce enhances any dish of fish, chicken or quesadillas. It can also be used as a dip.
This salsa verde is raw and should be served immediately after making it. It is very fresh! I served it for lunch with white fish filets cooked in a covered pan with olive oil, lemon rinds, garlic, fresh cilantro (corriander) and Vietnamese white ginger root.
If you prefer the cooked version, and you might since it can be kept in the fridge for a few days, just use this recipe, cooking all the ingredients (except the lime juice) for about 20 minutes on low fire, then passing it through the mixer, then adding the juice of one lime at the very end.
For one kg of “tomates”:
1- Wash the tomates and cut them in half.
2- Place them in a mixer along with a handful of washed fresh cilantro (coriander), a few garlic cloves (you can also use half an onion), some salt, the juice of one lime and some fresh Jalapeño peppers (or not).
3- Add a quarter cup of water and mix until it has an even consistency.