Sunday, February 12, 2012

February Recipe: Spicy Honey Ginger Chicken

Here it is guys the perfect recipe coming in from a cold day on the ice. Other then the prep there is not  much to it, and with Valentines day coming up this is one that will show off your skills in the kitchen to the wife.

here is what you need:

8 x Chicken Thighs (skin on!)
14oz Can of Plum Tomato's
15 pieces  Dried Apricot
1 Sweet Onion
2 Tbsp Honey
2-5 Red Chili's (2 gives it a mild kick, 4 kick back!)
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 inch piece of Ginger (peeled)
1 bunch of Rosemary
1 Bunch of Basil
2tbsp Olive Oil
2tbsp Butter

Getting Started:

Heat oil and butter in the biggest pot/casserole dish you have in your kitchen. As it heats chop the onion, mince the ginger and 2 sprigs of rosemary and the chili's (the more spine and seeds you leave in the hotter this dish will be). Throw all of these into the pot and sweat them for a few minutes... then add the cinnamon sticks and the remainder of the rosemary (not chopped) and cook for a few more minutes.

Once you can really smell the above ingredients cooking, it is then time to add the chicken. You want to brown the skin.. so start skin side down and don't touch it for at least 5 minutes. After about 5-7 minutes flip the chicken and brown the other side.

Tip: If you notice your pot is really crowded this is the time to stop and change pots, the next step adds the liquid and although the bottom of the pan needs to be covered to chicken should not be fully submerged or crowded

Now that the chicken is browned it is time to add the rest of the ingredients. To ensure I get all the good bits off the bottom of the pan I move the chicken off to one side and then pour the 14oz can of plum tomatoes and their juices on the empty side of the pot.. scrap the bottom to lift up the flavour bits as the liquid loosens them.

I then pour the honey and apricots directly on the chicken. then mix it all together. The last ingredient to add is half of the basil (chopped or shredded). The other half will be added at the end of the cooking process.

With the liquid added, the bottom of the pot should be covered and all apricots submerged.. if not add more tomato juice or water. Then bring to a boil.

Once boiling.. put a lid on it, lower the temp to just below medium heat and let simmer for 45 minutes.

While you are waiting for the chicken to do its thing you have a decision to make.. Rice? or Couscous?
This recipe can be served with either of these sides... personally I prefer to eat it with couscous and here is my fav way to prepare it

Ingredient list:
2 cups couscous
2 Cups Chicken broth
1 Bunch of Cilantro
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

This is pretty straight forward.. pour dry couscous into a large oven safe bowl, bring the chicken broth or water to a boil and pour over the dry couscous. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes.

Once the liquid has been absorbed, add about 1tblsp of Olive Oil and hand mix into the couscous breaking up any chunks. Add some chopped cilantro and mix well. On top of the couscous place 4 pats of butter, cover in foil and place in the over at 300.. this is not to cook, only to keep warm will waiting on the chicken.. that's it, this is ready to serve.

Now back to the chicken..

when the timer has gone off, remove the chicken from the oven. Give is a good mix and add the remaining basil. Turn your oven on broil and cook for another 5-10 minutes to give the chicken a good dark and crispy top (watch closely so it does not burn on you). You should be able to smell the sugar from the apricots and honey as they darken. (see top pic for what this stage looks like)

When ready to serve add about a cup of coucous to the plate and lay 2 chicken thighs down next to it. with a serving spoon top the chicken with some of the remaining juice and a few apricots.. your done!.. enjoy

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