Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients as this dish surely packs a flavour punch. It combines a knockout one-two of heat with sweet and savoury spices guaranteed to make anyone weak at the knees. Super easy to prepare and cook, it is a delicious meal to create for friends plus, if you’re lucky enough to have any left over, it tastes even better the following day…
SYRIAN CHICKEN WITH GINGER AND LEMON
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
50 ml olive oil
2 brown onions, thickly sliced
100 g fresh ginger, peeled & cut into matchsticks
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 small red chillies, split (option to remove seeds for less heat)
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
5 sprigs thyme
1 lemon, juiced & zest finely grated
1 tbsp honey
100 g currants
2 tbsp vegetable stock powder, dissolved in a little hot water
¼ bunch fresh coriander, chopped
Cooked couscous or rice, to serve
1. Combine salt, cumin, cinnamon, pepper and turmeric in a large plastic bag. Add chicken pieces and shake to coat.
2. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based pan over high heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Add onions, ginger, garlic and chillies to pan and cook for 3 minutes, adding a little more oil, if necessary.
4. Add tomatoes, cumin seeds and thyme and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Return chicken to pan and add lemon juice and zest, honey, currants, stock powder and enough water to just cover chicken. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
6. Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through and sauce is slightly reduced.
Sprinkle with coriander. Serve with couscous or rice.
Spotlight ingredient : Cinnamon
Aside from being one of the smell sensations of the world, cinnamon has proven anti-inflammatory properties & is loaded with anti-oxidants making this meal a perfect post workout recovery meal. Dating as far back as ancient Egypt, it comes from inner bark of the cinnamomum tree & can be found in abundance in Middle Eastern cuisine. The bark is ground down to powdered form & can be added to smoothies, sprinkled on bananas, mixed into yoghurt or added to savoury dishes. Use it in its quill form for cooking but be sure to remove before serving up!
Photo credits: Steve Pb