Turkish Spiced Chicken With Green Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on August 13, 2015

Accidental Locavore Turkish Chicken With Green SauceBeing a lover of all foods Middle Eastern (okay, maybe just all foods), the Accidental Locavore made this chicken recipe for dinner recently. Give it some time to marinate but don’t worry, the marinade comes together really quickly, so you can do it in the morning before you take off. The ingredients for the sauce are going in a food processor, so you can just coarsely chop them. Serves 4:

Accidental Locavore Marinade for Turkish ChickenFor the chicken:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs

Accidental Locavore Sauce for Turkish ChickenFor the sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 chiles, jalapeno or Serrano (more or less to taste), seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Leaves from 8 sprigs of mint
  • ½ cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Lemon wedges to serve

Mix the olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper in a small bowl to make a marinade. Make little slits all over the underside of the pieces of chicken with the point of a knife. Put the chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over, turning to coat. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking.

Make the sauce just before you cook the chicken. Put the garlic, chiles, cilantro, mint and olives and vinegar in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. Gradually add the olive oil and process until you have a rough paste (it should be chunky). Add lemon juice and salt to taste and set aside in a small bowl.

Accidental Locavore Grilled Turkish ChickenHeat a grill or grill pan on medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and shake off the excess. Cook the chicken for about two minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another four minutes per side. The chicken should be cooked through and singed, but not burnt.

Serve the chicken with the sauce and lemon wedges and enjoy!

My verdict: Great! I did the chicken thighs on the grill and they were delicious! If you can’t grill, a grill pan, or even a hot (400°) oven with a sheet pan would work fine. The sauce is really good with them and you can adjust the spice and salt to suit your personal taste (so mine was nice and spicy). The sauce would go well with a firm fish or even some lamb chops. I served the chicken with couscous and some green beans, but eggplant would be a good side dish too. If you have any Greek yogurt or labneh, you could add that too.





Making vs. Buying: When is it Worth it?

by Anne Maxfield on February 23, 2015

Accidental Locavore Gin and VermouthThere are so many things you can make yourself these days (what a surprise—how did we get food before there were supermarkets?), but the Accidental Locavore was wondering when it was worth it to make something and when it was just easier to pop into a store. I’ve made my own granola, yogurt, and bacon for a long time now, mostly for taste, but in the case of granola, because it is very difficult to find nut-free granola. Yogurt is simple enough to find, but it’s one of the easiest things to make. Homemade bacon will just spoil you for anything else, and you can make a lot of it and freeze it.

I’ve made butter, both regular and cultured, and while it’s certainly easy, it can be messy and for me, it falls into the better bought category. It’s also one of the few items that isn’t less expensive to make. Cheese too—there are just so many people who make great cheese, that it would take me a long time (and a closer source of raw milk) to make it worthwhile.

Accidental Locavore SansaireThis all came up because I read an article about making your own gin sous-vide and sent it to my friend Ivan. After having a couple of laughs about buying a $300 sous-vide machine to use for 90 seconds (yes, 90 seconds) to infuse your gin, Ivan sent me the following…

For making one’s own gin:

Walk to car in driveway. Enter car, insert key and start engine. After fastening seat belt, drive 6 1/2 blocks to liquor store.

Exit vehicle (sans seatbelt) and enter store.

Proceed to aisle three on your right and walk approx 7 feet.

Select blue-tinted glass vessel labeled “Bombay Sapphire”.

Present vessel to store clerk with $20.00 bill. Receive a small amount of change.

Exit store and re-enter vehicle with vessel in tow.

Re-fasten seat belt, re-start ignition and follow reverse pattern of earlier route to home.

Release seat belt, kill ignition, exit vehicle and enter home.

Accidental Locavore MartiniLocate one glass, several ice cubes, glance at the vermouth bottle, place two olives in glass with ice cubes.

Pour reasonable amount of clear liquid into prepared glass.

Consume contents of glass slowly, while forgetting all of those details about plastic bags and 172 degrees.

Refill glass.

Now then. Isn’t that a whole lot easier?



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Moroccan Fish With Onions and Olives

by Anne Maxfield on May 1, 2014

Accidental Locavore Moroccan FishThe Accidental Locavore came across this recipe in a recent NY Times article and thought it looked interesting. Cod was on sale so I got a hunk of it and went to work. This was adapted to feed two. You’ll want to give it some time to marinate, so plan accordingly. Some couscous or rice would be a nice accompaniment to the fish.

  • 3/4 pound cod, grouper, halibut or snapper, cut into two serving-sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, well washed and dried
  • 1 garlic clove, run through a garlic press
  • 1 small serrano chile, very finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground, plus 1/2 teaspoon whole seeds
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 small onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup green or black olives, with pits

Accidental Locavore Sauted OnionsSeason fish fillets lightly with salt and pepper and set aside. Reserve a few cilantro sprigs for garnish, then roughly chop leaves and tender stems and put in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, the garlic, the chile, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, the paprika, 1/4 cup olive oil and the lime juice. Stir mixture together.

Put the fish in a Ziploc bag or storage container with a lid. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cilantro sauce for serving, and pour the rest of the sauce over fish fillets, making sure they’re well coated. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate and marinate overnight.

Meanwhile, put butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and season generously with salt and pepper. Add remaining ground cumin and ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, the turmeric and the cayenne. Stir to coat. When onions begin to soften, turn heat to medium. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until onions are soft and begin to brown. Stir in preserved lemon and olives. Cool to room temperature. (The onions may be cooked in advance.)

Accidental Locavore Baking FishHeat oven to 400 degrees. Put onions in a low baking dish and spread to a 1-inch thickness. Arrange marinated fish fillets over onions in a single layer. Bake on top rack until fish is just done, 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, smear a little reserved cilantro sauce over each fillet, and give each guest a large spoonful of the onions. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: really good but could be tweaked to be great! A little salty, so would rinse off the preserved lemon, or use less of it. Ditto the olives (I don’t know if the pits add anything to the flavor of the dish, but I used a handful of mixed, pitted olives). Since somehow my pantry was lacking in cumin seeds and I was lazy, I used a teaspoon of ground cumin and the same amount of ground coriander. Spices like that are always more flavorful if you do take the time to toast and grind them, but if you’re feeling lazy, don’t let that stop you from trying this dish. If you’re feeling sticker shock on limes, lemons would be fine in this dish. What was really good and would make a good base for a number of things, were the onions. I used cod for the fish, and it had the body and taste to stand up to the spices. Might have wanted a little more heat from the serrano, but there were enough other strong flavors that maybe it’s not necessary. I served it with some spinach, but couscous or rice might have soaked up some of the sauce (and salt).




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 Epicurious.com 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.