This past weekend, I returned home from England with some new cookbooks in hand and some new toys in the kitchen. Lots of new experimenting to be done over the next few weeks.
I started with something from my latest cookbook purchase. Last year, while we were in San Francisco, we are lunch at the most wonderful Persian restaurant. So when I spotted Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour on the shelves of Tesco, I knew I had to have it, and I couldn't wait to try some of the recipes.
For my first attempt at Persian food, I made the following Joojeh Kebab (Saffron and Lemon Chicken). Delicately flavored with lemon, saffron, and turmeric,the vibrant yellow color of the dish paired nicely with the bright green of the freshly sauteed spinach. The next day, I served the leftovers with bulgur wheat.
Saffron and Lemon Chicken (adapted from Persiana) (Serves 4)
I cut the original recipe in the book but still had enough for 4 servings.
2 onions, cut in half and sliced thinly
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
8 oz plain Greek yogurt
1 tbs sea salt
good sized pinch of saffron
3 tbs boiling water
4 chicken thighs, skinned*
* The original recipe called for chicken breasts but I find thighs so much more flavorful. Not wanting to waste the chicken skin, I sliced the skins and placed them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in the oven at about 350F. Leave them to crisp up and you have very tasty snack.
Put the onions, lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, yogurt, and salt into a large bowl and mix well.
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron into a powder. Add the boiling water and leave for 5-10 minutes.
|Such vibrant colors!|
When ready to cook, preheat your grill. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place on it the chicken breasts with some of the onion mixture. Grill for about 20 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
While the chicken was cooking, I too the rest of the marinade and cooked it up on the stove top with some fresh spinach. Serve it with basmati rice, if you have it. I only had brown, which was good, but not as fluffy as basmati.
I foresee much more saffron and pomegranate-roasted lamb in my future, not to mention Hungarian dishes and things cooked on a salt block!