Mexican chicken recipes are very appealing to the Indian pallet (at least to mine), they are flavorful, rich in spice and delicious. After going time and again to my favorite restaurant in London Wahaca and ordering the same dish time and again, i decided to try it at home and the results were pretty impressive!
Chicken thighs – 3 (large)
For the marinade:
Oranges – 2
Lime – 2
Lemons – 2
Garlic – 5 cloves
Jalapeños – 2
Ground cumin – 1 tsp
Cayenne – 1/2 tsp
Dried Oregano – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
For coriander rice:
Coriander/Cilantro – 1 bunch
Mint – 1/2 bunch
Lime – 1
Salt – to taste
Rice (dry) – 1 cup
To prepare the marinade, juice the oranges, lemons and lime also getting some orange and lemon zest. Add the dry spices and minced garlic and jalapeño. Marinate the chicken in this and let it stand for 2-3 hours. Preheat the oven to 450degs and then cook the chicken at 400 for about 35mins. I had gone for chicken thigh pieces so I did not run too much chance of drying out the chicken. If you decide to go with some other part of the chicken you will need to adjust the cook time and temperature accordingly.
For the herb rice, clean and grind the herbs together with salt and lime juice. Then add it to the cooked rice & plate up.
My achievement for this one was that I also tried to butcher the chicken and clean the bones (look at the clean sockets on top). I have to admit that it took me awfully long to get there but it was a fun learning experience. I decided to use freshly juice the oranges, lemons and limes. I even went to the extent of roasting and grinding fresh cumin. Because of all this it was quite labor intensive but at the end it was well worth it. I am quite certain if I had used ready made juices, it wouldn’t have tasted half as delicious as it did – all in all a Sunday well spent!
Being accustomed to Indian food where there are a dozen or more spices in one dish it was difficult (baffling even) for me to imagine a meal with just salt and pepper as spices. But I guess that’s where you fall back on true flavour of the ingredients. So here is my attempt at working with just salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne…
2 Medium sized Chicken breasts
Potato – 1 Small cut into half
Mushrooms 100 gms
Vodka/White wine 1/4 Cup
1 Small sized Onion – finely diced
Salt – to taste
Black Pepper (freshly cracked) – to taste
Cayenne Pepper – a pinch
Olive oil or butter – 1Tblspn
Lets face the hardest part of this recipe first – its the choice between olive oil and butter. It translates into appeasing your taste buds vs going healthy. For me it was the former (clearly!) so I went for the butter but nothing stopping you from being good! 😉
Now that we are through that, lets get cracking. Take the chicken and add some salt, freshly cracked black pepper and a pinch of cayenne and rub these in. Let it rest for 5mins until you chop the mushrooms and onions. Next, in a non-stick pan add some olive oil or butter put the chicken breast in till you get a light golden colour on both sides but do not fully cook! Put the two pieces of potatoes in the pan, sprinkle salt and get a nice golden colour to the base of the flat face of the potatoes. As earlier make sure you do not cook them fully. In a preheated oven, add the chicken and the potatoes to cook for about 20mins at 280 degs.
For the sauce use the same pan & oil you used for frying the chicken to not lose the lovely flavours, add extra oil/butter if needed. Add the onions & cook only till they are translucent do not wait for them to get brown/crispy. Next add the mushrooms, salt, pepper and let it cook till the mushrooms are soft. Next add the booze and stir till it evaporates. Here is where you can either add some chicken stock if you like, I personally prefer to stay true to the mushroom & booze flavour so I add a little bit of water and a already mixed flour-water mix to avoid any flour balls in the sauce. Simmer until the sauce till it thickens and its done !
I was tired of having the regular grilled chicken recipes with ginger, garlic and herbs. Was craving a new kind of grilled chicken which wasnt very unhealthy. Came across this recipe (thankfully!). Made use of dates syrup – something I havent ever used before. Was quite hesitant about it at the start but am glad I tried it! The Mediterranean grilled chicken was absolutely delightful and a refreshing change! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
- 3 Chicken thighs on the bone
- 1 red pepper
- 6-7 baby potatoes (I added more because I love roasted baby potatoes)
- 1 large onion – chopped into big squares with the layers separated
- 8tbsp date syrup or pomegranate molasses
- 1 tspn Cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 2 Green chillies – with seeds just slit from the center
- 1 lemon
- Handful of chopped parsley
- Handful of chopped coriander
- 2tbspn coarsely ground garlic cloves
- 2tbspn coarsely ground ginger
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 30gms Butter
- Olive oil
Instructions couldn’t be more straightforward – just throw the ingredients together and marinate for an hour. The only complexity while marinating the chicken comes from the use of lemon. Use the juice of half a lemon and the zest from it for the marinade. While the other half just cut into large pieces and add to the marinating chicken. This would give off a great fragrant freshness from the lemon. Also, dont shun away from adding the molasses even if you arent paricularly fond of sweet grilled chicken because it perfectly balances the heat from the black pepper, cayenne pepper and the green chilles (with the seeds). So you will be just fine! 🙂
An hour later in a preheated oven grill at about 200 degs for roughly 40mins or depending on how big the chicken pieces are. Before putting the marinated chicken to grill add some butter to the chicken pieces for a nice crispy coating. Do ensure that before serving you remove the whole lemon pieces.(Sorry, dont have a picture of what it looked liked once it was done – my energies were directed towards downing it 😉 )
You can have a couple of quick and easy sides to go with this. One can be olives drizzled with dried oregano. Another can be a yoghurt based mint sauce with some finely chopped cucumbers. If you havent really thought of what this would go well with and haven’t got the time to do a full blown bread to go with this, you could do a quick tabouleh which is a healthy salad made from coarsely broken wheat with parsley and a bunch of other veggies thrown in.