Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Yikes! Not Chicken Again!

Moroccan Chicken
Sometimes I go overboard when I see a sale on boneless chicken breasts.  When I’m loading a 4-pound package into my cart, all I can think about is “What a great bargain this is.”  Only when I’m starring at it in my refrigerator do I actually think about having to cook it and eat it.

I knew that freezing half of what I bought would solve the immediate problem, but experience has taught me that chicken tastes better when it’s freshly cooked. 
That’s why I decided to make a huge batch of Moroccan Chicken, which is basically an Asian stir-fry with raisins, pine nuts and a lot of mint and cinnamon.

I first ate this at a dinner party in London and begged for the recipe.  Foolishly I worried that it would require ingredients unavailable in Southern California, but the problem was more basic.  How often could I serve it before getting sick of it?

I recently found out the answer: three consecutive dinners.  Moroccan Chicken tasted wonderful the first night and pretty good the second night.  By the third night I was thinking, “Maybe it’s time to make pizza.”  But I was in a hurry, which meant “Heat up the rest of the leftovers.”

There was no Night Four.  In my freezer there is now a storage container clearly labeled Moroccan Chicken.  I plan to defrost it in a few months. 
Moroccan Chicken– serves 4 (adapted from “Faster! I’m Starving!”
2-3 boneless chicken breasts (1 1/2 – 2 pounds)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil, divided use
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or 2 teaspoons dried mint
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons Black Bean Garlic Sauce 
Remove any fat from the chicken breasts and slice them into strips 1/2-inch wide and 2 inches long.  Put them into a large bowl.  Add the raisins, pine nuts, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, mint, garlic, cinnamon and red pepper flakes.  Mix well. 
Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large frying pan or wok and begin heating over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken mixture and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.  It should be white in the middle, not pink.  Add the scallion pieces and black bean garlic sauce and mix well.  Heat for 1 minute and serve immediately.  Or set aside until ready to eat and then reheat briefly.
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