Melissa Clark shares some of her appetizing recipes with us, from her new book: In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite.
Note: These recipes are from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark. Copyright © 2010 Melissa Clark, Inc. To be published in September, 2010 by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.
Quick-Braised Chicken with Moroccan Spices, Lemon, and Olives
Time: 1 Hour
Serves: 3 to 4
1 lemon, ends trimmed (see Note)
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 fat garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh gingerroot
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
2 to 3 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron
1/2 cup good-quality green olives, pitted if desired (I used pitted picholines)
3 tablespoons dried currants or diced dried apricots (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or mint
1. Thinly slice the lemon crosswise into rounds. Cut the rounds into quarters. Place the lemon in a small saucepan with water just to cover and stir in 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well and rinse the lemon under cold water.
2. Season the chicken with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and the pepper. In a large, deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in an even layer in the skillet (do this in batches, if necessary) and brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
3. If the skillet looks dry, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne, and cook for 1 minute more.
4. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Pour the stock into the skillet until two-thirds of the chicken is covered. Stir in the saffron and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for about 25 minutes.
5. Uncover and add the lemon slices, olives, and dried fruit, if desired, stirring to combine. Cover and return to a simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
6. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Raise the heat to high and boil the sauce, uncovered, until it has thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro or mint. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.
Hello, Salad (Tender Greens with Herbs and Hazelnuts)
Time: 5 Minutes
Serves: 2 to 4
1 teaspoon sherry, white wine, or Champagne vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
11/2 tablespoons hazelnut or walnut oil
6 cups tender baby greens, loosely packed
Handful soft mixed fresh herbs, such as cilantro, mint, parsley, and/or basil
1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts or walnuts (see Note)
1. Combine the vinegar and salt in a small bowl and mix well to dissolve the salt. Slowly whisk in the oil.
2. Place the greens, herbs, and hazelnuts or walnuts in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with more salt to taste.
Note: To toast nuts, spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 325°F, stirring every 5 minutes, until they start to smell nutty, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the type and size of the nut. Cool completely before chopping.