Easy Roasted Cornish Game Hens With Harissa

by Anne Maxfield on February 5, 2015

Accidental Locavore Cornish Hens With Harissa and LemonThe Accidental Locavore just added Persiana to the cookbook collection. It’s loosely Middle Eastern. This was a supereasy recipe for poussins but Cornish game hens are much more available, so that’s what I used. For 2:

  • 1 large or 2-3 small preserved lemons, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup harissa (more or less to taste)
  • 2 Cornish game hens

In a food processor or blender, process the lemons, olive oil, salt, pepper and harissa into a fairly smooth paste. Taste and adjust harissa, salt and pepper to taste. Rub into the hens.

Accidental Locavore Cornish Hens With HarissaPreheat the oven to 425°. Place the hens in a small roasting pan or ovenproof dish lined with parchment paper. Roast for about 45-50 minutes until nicely browned on top and cooked through (juice will run clear if you pierce the thigh), 165° on an instant-read thermometer. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Great and super easy! I actually made the paste the day before and marinated the birds overnight in a Ziploc, so all I had to do was heat the oven and pop them in. Served over couscous with some of the sauce spooned over them and a little sautéed spinach on the side and this was a delicious weeknight, tired-cook dinner! I make my own preserved lemons-they’re so easy and good. That way they’re always on hand and for this, I just used one large one, which gave the marinade plenty of flavor. The harissa I use is on the mild side. If yours isn’t, adjust it to suit your taste. If it wasn’t winter, the hens might have gone straight to the rotisserie, or gotten butterflied and grilled (and probably will as soon as the weather is better). Having the hens also gave me the idea to taste-test between two well-known brands. Click here for the results.



Chicken With Artichokes and Olives

by Anne Maxfield on February 27, 2014

Accidental Locavore Chicken With OlivesIn preparation for yet another major snowstorm, the Accidental Locavore bought a bunch of boneless chicken thighs, not knowing exactly what I would do with them. Rather than doing my usual Indian chicken dish, I cruised through some recent recipes I’d saved. This one was from and had the advantage of being pretty quick to prepare.

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro for garnish
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cinnamon stick, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest-mixed use (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice-mixed use
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ bag of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives

Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Decrease the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining broth, 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the chicken, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste – you may want to add another squeeze of lemon juice or pinch of salt. Garnish with the mint or cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I served this over a bed of couscous and it was really good. However, the leftovers the next day were even better! This recipe doesn’t call for cutting up the chicken thighs, but I might quarter them, just so they’re not such big hunks. You could substitute saffron for the turmeric and give this a more Moroccan twist. I made it again for dinner guests, this time in a slow cooker. I cut up the chicken and browned it. Then followed the recipe through deglazing the pan. Everything except the artichoke hearts went in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours. I added the artichoke hearts about a half hour before serving. It was almost as good, but lacked the freshness of the original. Either way, this is a good one to try.




Rack of Lamb With Yogurt and Persian Spices

by Anne Maxfield on September 26, 2013

Accidental Locavore Rack of Lamb RecipeRack of lamb is always easy and tastes great!

The Accidental Locavore was dying to try a new spice mix from Food 52’s new Provisions site, I remembered a rack of lamb taking up space in the freezer.

The idea for this rack of lamb recipe would be to make a marinade with the spice mix, some yogurt etc, grill it and serve it with couscous and some squash or eggplant, also done on the grill.

Here’s how it turned out.

Grilled Rack of Lamb With Yogurt and Persian Spices

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 generous teaspoons Persian Lime Spice Rub
  • 1 large clove of garlic, run through a garlic press or finely minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 rack of lamb with about 8 ribs

Generously salt and pepper the rack of lamb.

In a small bowl, mix together the spice mix, yogurt and garlic.

Put the lamb in a large Ziploc bag, add the yogurt mix, making sure the lamb is well coated. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

An hour before you’re going to cook it, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.

Heat a grill, or grill pan, to high heat. When the grill is hot, add the lamb, bone side up.

Allow to sear for a minute or two, then reduce the heat to medium.

Cook for about 4 minutes, then turn and cook for another 5 minutes until it reaches your desired doneness.

Remove from the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Carve, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Grilled rack of lamb is always great.

This was inspired by and topped with my friend Jeff’s feta aïoli (scroll down his page for the recipe).

It made a great sauce for the lamb and was easily put together at the same time as the marinade.

I also thinly sliced some summer squash, tossed them with some olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled them with the lamb.

While the lamb was resting, it gave me the time to make a batch of couscous.

Because it was a rack of lamb, and was very tender, I’m not sure that it needed the yogurt marinade. Next time, I’ll just do a rub of some salt and pepper and the spice blend and grill some limes cut in half to go with it.





Accidental Locavore Recipe for Green Harissa

by Anne Maxfield on July 22, 2011

Accidental Locavore Green HarissaThe Accidental Locavore loves harissa, a spicy North African condiment, usually red, so when I saw this recipe in bon appétit for a green version, I had to try it. I used it to make merguez, but if you’re not into making sausage, use it for lamb or chicken. It would probably work really well on zucchini too. Makes ½ cup and adapted from bon appétit:

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped ( I probably used 1 ½ cups because I love cilantro)
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add salt to taste and check seasonings for taste. If it’s too spicy, add more spinach, cilantro and a little more olive oil. Serve and enjoy.