Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Moroccan Chicken with Pomegranate Glazed Carrots

My counterpart returned from Pittsburgh, and things have more or less returned to normal. Except that he is now telecommuting to Pittsburgh from the den. Which means until the weather is consistently nice for grilling, dinner will usually be something quick, like hot dogs or mac and cheese. This provides me with an opportunity to continue cooking. So long as he is open to experimentation.

Tonight I threw my hat in the ring with a Moroccan-themed dinner of chicken with pomegranate-glazed carrots. I thought these two dishes would go together as they have a similar flavor theme - cinnamon and coriander. The chicken recipe is for chicken that is first marinaded for six hours and then grilled. I adapted it for cooking on the stovetop by applying the seasonings as a rub rather than a marinade.

Tonight's flavor theme for dinner

First, I started some rice. Remember that the key to perfect rice is a splash of heavy cream.

For my chicken, I used a pack of chicken thighs that I cut into strips, because if it looks the same, it cooks the same.

I made my rub out of the seasonings for the marinade:

3 Tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Chicken rubbed with spices

I rubbed it into the cut thigh meat while I preheated some olive oil in a sturdy skillet. I sauteed the chicken in the oil over moderate heat until it was cooked through.

Cooked on the stovetop

I also cooked om carrots at the same time. For the pomegranate-glazed carrots, I cut my carrots into diagonal slices and sauteed them in olive oil for about five minutes before adding the following:

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 tsp cinnamon - the recipe calls for a cinnamon stick, which I did not have, so I used the same cinnamon as in the chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp coriander - the recipe calls for roasted coriander seeds - I used the same ground coriander as in the chicken

The recipe indicates that as this cooks, the pomegranate juice will cook down and may a glaze. This did happen. Kind of. I think it is relying on some natural sugar form the carrots to create the glaze, so timing is important. I think my timing was a little off, along with my seasonings. My carrots were not overcooked; however, the flavor of the dish was overpowered by the pomegranate.

Carrots with a pomegranate glaze

The chicken fared much better. It had a vaguely Moroccan flavor to it with just a little sweetness from the sugar. I think this recipe worked well as a rub and wish I had taken the time to let the flavors set before cooking.

Here are the links to the recipes as they appeared on epicurious:

Grilled Chicken Moroccan Style
Pomegranate-Glazed Carrots

Tonight's dinner - a fair success

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