Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The air smelled of spices

Bust out your spices! Have I got a dunch for you: Moroccan-spiced chicken with couscous! If you've ever gotten a whiff of these spices working together, you can understand why Columbus set sail. The recipe comes from Martha Stewart Living and I made one big adaptation: I used boneless breasts rather than meaty pieces, just because.

When we went to buy these spices (none of which we previously had), Sean said, "Ugh! More spices?!" He's right; they are expensive, but worth it. You will need: cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cardamom (yay, cardamom!) and ground cumin. If any of you are ever in Harrisonburg and you have an hour to kill, call the fine folks at Blue Nile Ethiopian and reserve the coffee ceremony. They grind the beans right in front of you and roast them with cardamom. It is delicious. Seriously. 

So I mixed the spices together with olive oil to form a spice paste, which I then rubbed into the meat. Speaking of things that would have horrified me just two months ago:

Ew. My hand looks like a tale from the crypt. Albeit a delicious, spicy one!

I then placed lemon wedges around the chicken breasts and baked the chicken at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. My apartment smelled amazing and the chicken made a very satisfying sizzle. The only bad part? My lemon pieces literally melted away, so they weren't available for garnishing.

Mmmmm. Spicy, delicious chicken with boxed parmesan couscous. I find it very cathartic to fluff the couscous with a fork; does anyone else love that feeling? 

I think, in hindsight, the meal needed a little more color so I may add some veggies to the couscous next time. But otherwise, it was delicious and spicy and EASY. 


Elizardbeth said...

I love your food posts -- can you tell?
You can buy spices for less at the various ethnic markets around here. I'm a big fan of Anand's Bazaar behind the IHOP near Port Warwick.

Amber said...

ooh good tip. I know where all the ethnic marts are in Harrisonburg, but I had no idea where to look here.

Joe said...

E-Mart (it's an international food market inside what used to be a Food Lion at Warwick and Young's Mill Road) also has cheap spices. And fresh herbs. But take Liz's advice and check Anand's first, because you can buy giant tubs of spices there for less than what you pay for one of those little McCormick jars at Food Lion or wherever.

Also, that parmesan couscous rules. Melissa and I love that stuff.

Oh, and the chicken looks excellent.

Amanda said...

This chicken looks moist and delicious. I should try this. :)

Bret said...

i did something like this only i also used bread crumbs and pan fried thinner cutlets. this looks great though.