Friday, January 7, 2011
Roast chicken with sumac, onions and pine nuts AND Hassan's cracked potatoes with coriander
Sam and Sam Clark's Moro East is the featured cookbook for January and February over on the 101 Cookbooks library. These are the first of (hopefully) many recipes from Moro East that I'll be posting about! The book is gorgeous and the recipes are inspiring. I look forward to learning a little bit more about some of the unfamiliar ingredients used in the recipes.
Of course, I have a story to go with this. The recipe calls for a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces. I've never cooked like this before, so I asked the guy at the meat counter at Whole Foods for a whole chicken that was already cut into the pieces. I even confirmed what I was asking for. And of course he sent me home with a whole chicken, cut into NO pieces. I hid in the bathroom while Ken cut it up. It was gross :( However, now I know from experience that this is totally unnecessary. If I wanted to use all chicken breasts or thighs or whatever, it would have turned out fine.
The Roasted Chicken with Sumac, Onions and Pine Nuts was delicious. You brown the chicken, take it out of the pan and dump the extra fat, drop in some onions and sumac, put the chicken back, sprinkle with more sumac and pine nuts, and pop it in the oven. Super easy. I look forward to seasoning chicken with sumac in the future. It has a slightly lemony, not-too-strong flavor. I used frozen pearl onions, but next time I'll probably use small onions cut into 8ths for a stronger flavor and because the layers will come apart - I just think it'll be better. I'll also use fewer pine nuts. They are so expensive now!
Hassan's Cracked Potatoes with Coriander went nicely with the chicken. My favorite part of the recipe was cracking the potatoes. I got to smash them with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Not too much, just enough to make some cracks. I love the orange-y fragrance of coriander. The wine was a fantastic addition that I was skeptical about at first, but after it was cooked, it added a great flavor to the potatoes. I should have halved the recipe, because it didn't all fit well in the pot, but it worked out alright in the end.
One thing I did NOT like about these recipes was that I could feel how high in fat they were. I'd like to use some of these flavors in more healthy dishes. Now I know to trust my instincts with these recipes and cut down on some of the less healthy parts of them.