Moroccan Chicken with preserved kumquats and olives

Moroccan Chicken with preserved kumquats and olives

The chicken was an overall success.  Such layers of flavors!  Too many layers, sadly; I lost the kumquat flavor entirely.  Just a hint of citrus was all that remained.  I’m going to try them with a simpler flavor profile next time.

 Moroccan Chicken with preserved kumquats and olives
8              garlic cloves
1 bu.      cilantro
½             chopped onion
2 T.         vinegar
2 T.         olive oil
2 T.         smoked paprika
2 t.          ground cumin
1 t.          salt
½ t.         pepper
½ t.         cayenne
¼ t.         saffron threads

Chicken thighs, bone-in, skinless
Oblique carrots
½ onion, finely sliced
¾ cup oil cured black olives
1/3 c. chopped preserved kumquats

Process first 11 ingredients into a paste.  Cover chicken with paste and refrigerate overnight.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place sliced onion, carrots, olives and kumquats in dish.  Add chicken and spice paste.  Add a bit of water, if needed.  Cover and bake for 1 hour.  Transfer to platter.  Reduce sauce if needed and spoon over chicken and vegetables.

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CSA Wednesdays

IMG-20130724-00332My second CSA basket arrived today – and now I’m receiving fresh eggs (yay!).  For dinner, I sauteed kale* in olive oil, covered it with basil*-walnut pesto, topped with one of these lovely eggs*, sunny-side up, and sprinkled with freshly ground pepper. For dessert, I baked plums* in a ramekin topped with a phyllo crust.  Fresh and delicious.

* from the CSA

Gorge-ous Day

enstrom

I just devoured a shredded beef chipotle burrito the size of a small child and followed it by gobbling down a giant slab of Enstrom almond toffee (the best!).  It’s raining outside today and I started my period.  Sometimes,  you just have to gorge a thorny day away.

 

Goin’ Greek

Braciole

Braciole

It falls on me during the holidays to prepare a Christmas celebration dinner for family and friends.  Usually it’s on Christmas Eve – this year, it’s next weekend.

My original thought was to go Italian and cook beef braciole ( a.k.a. involtini) and a duck ragu with pasta.  Braciole is new to my repertoire so, I did some testing this weekend – everything was from scratch from the tomato sauce to the filling.  And the braciole came out…

Dry….really dry, like “I need to smother this with the sauce” dry.  I used a marbled cut of meat (shoulder) that can take a lot of braising (2 hours).  I did some internet research and one recipe recommended flank steak to counteract any dryness, but they also recommended cooking them in a jar of Ragu, so I do not trust that one.

I’m not a huge beef fan, so I thought maybe this was how it turns out – a bit dry, even after an extra day in refrigerator in the sauce so…last night,  I bought some pork, added some moist filling ingredients and tried again.  And the braciole came out…

Better, but still “meh.”  I would call it ‘good enough for a mid-week dinner’ but not Christmas dinner worthy.  So, with a week left before my dinner, I’m rethinking the whole thing.

How about Greek?

  • Leg of Lamb
  • Greek Baked Shrimp (for those that don’t like lamb)
  • Pastitsio (maybe with pork/beef)
  • Orange Scented Green Beans
  • Orzo with olives and tomatoes
  • Greek Salad
  • For appetizers: Keftedes and Spanikopita

Opa!