You know how when you see or do something once, then it keeps popping up over and over again at other times and places? Maybe it opens your eyes and makes you more aware, or maybe it’s just the start of a new trend. I got the book, Olives, Lemons & Za’atar by Rawia Bishara for Christmas this year and we’ve been enjoying Middle Eastern cuisine on a regular basis since then. Not that we haven’t cooked in this style before, but it’s great to have a book full of pictures, stories and recipes that give you a glimpse into regional cooking from another part of the world.
So of course, now I’m spotting Middle Eastern recipes in food magazines and blogs left and right. I got the recipe below from Eating Well magazine, so that means this recipe is not only tasty, but healthy for you too. Can’t get better than that!
We changed a few things from the original recipe, like using fire-roasted tomatoes for an extra kick, using the zest as well as the juice of the lemon, and using more chicken so we’d have leftovers for lunch the next day. But the flavor profile is still the same and the aromatic spices that fill your kitchen make your stomach rumble with anticipation. The marinade of spices flavor the chicken and then melt into the tomato-ey broth filled with chickpeas and onions. It’s a hearty dish that is filling by itself or served over rice.
- 5 cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 Lemon
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Paprika
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast or Thighs
- 1 large Yellow Onion
- 1 14 oz. can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 1 15 oz. can Chickpeas
Here’s what I did:
Zest the lemon. Stir together garlic, the zest and juice of the lemon, cumin, paprika and a dash of salt & pepper in a medium-sized bowl. We use kosher salt for this meal and freshly cracked pepper, but use whatever you have on hand. Stir in the chicken and coat, letting marinate for at least 20 minutes while you get everything else going.
Rough chop the onion. Heat 1-2 tbsp EVOO in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add the chicken to the pan, reserving the marinade for later. Cook the chicken until it is no longer raw on the outside. Then add the reserved marinade, the fire roasted tomatoes and their juice, the chickpeas and a little more salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the chicken is done, about 5-7 more minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!
A few notes, FYI:
Always zest citrus before you cut and juice it. It’s one of those tips that sounds really common sense, but is a total lifesaver in terms of energy and making a mess.