Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Recipe - Hummus and Persian Chicken

The original recipe for the hummus called for 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil. Apparently the butter goes really well with the Basturma (beef) that makes up the other half of the recipe. But I just wanted hummus, so I just doubled the amount of olive oil and cut out the butter. It turned out really well, in fact. The predominant flavor in the recipe was olive oil, but it was quite tasty with celery, carrots, and green peppers.

I did change up the chicken recipe quite a bit. The recipe in the cookbook called for the chicken to be fried in oil after dusting it with flour and spices. But in the interest of a healthier recipe, I baked it instead (without the flour).

3 cups chickpeas (I used organic garbanzos out of a can)
cup EVOO
t finely chopped garlic (about 1 large clove)
T freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
2t ground cumin (I realized I didn't have ground cumin, but cumin seed worked well enough)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, cover the chickpeas in about 8c of fresh water (or enough to cover the chickpeas with some room to spare). Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the chickpeas for at least 25 minutes, until tender. Drain the chickpeas.

Before they cool, puree them in a food processor with the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and salt and pepper, until very creamy. Serve with chopped veggies or bread.

Persian Chicken
2 cups plain, whole milk yogurt
1/2t saffron
T chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 1/2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
C walnut pieces (toasted in the oven until slightly crunchy and chopped finely)
t paprika
T dried mint
Salt and pepper to taste

Puree the yogurt with a teaspoon of water, the saffron and garlic until the mixture is smooth. Taste (if it's too garlicky, add a little yogurt and re-puree). Pour over the chicken and mix well in a glass or stainless bowl. Cover and let it sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Place the chicken in a casserole dish with a minimum of the yogurt (just whatever stays on the chicken during the transfer). Sprinkle the paprika, mint, salt and pepper over top of the breasts and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes (or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle).


neversaydiet said...

who doesn't LOVE hummus?! I must confess, we buy ours (versus making from scratch) at Costco. it's addictive!

The Lethological Gourmet said...

When I lived in St Louis, I used to buy my hummus at Sam's Club and it was actually quite good. Not all natural, but taste-wise, I must admit I rather liked it.

I tried adding za'atar spice to the hummus and it wasn't nearly as good, totally covered over the olive oil flavor. So plain is better, in my opinion.