Monday, February 14, 2011

Gravy Train Braised Chicken and Tamarind Roasted Vegetables

A friend was having surgery and I wanted to make a dinner to bring over for her and her family.  I went with the braised chicken, but they only like the thighs, so I just used them (I still put some pear under the skin).

The chicken is from a previous post Braised Chicken and the veggies are from from The Splendid Table Newsletter.  I love her show on NPR and listen to the pod casts. Here is the recipe:

Tamarind-Spice Glazed Roast of Brussels Sprouts, Onions and Chickpeas

Serves 3 to 4, and doubles easily
10 minutes prep time; 40 minutes oven time
Serve hot, at room temperature, or reheated. The roast keeps for 2 days in the refrigerator.

Tart, slightly sweet and subtly spiced, this is the soft side of Indian spicing. Along with the sweetness of onions, you'll taste the hint of orange that ground coriander always brings, the funkiness of cumin, and the sweet nutlike quality of roasted chickpeas.

Piled in a soup bowl with a finish of tamarind and plain whole-milk yogurt, the roast is a full supper. That touch of tamarind brings up all the other flavors.

Add a scoop of rice to the bowl and that, combined with the chickpeas in the recipe, will give you a complete protein – the same nutrition as eating a chunk of meat, but without the fat.

Cook to Cook: Tamarind tastes of dense, sour dried fruit with a strong sense of citrus and a lingering sweetness. You must try it. You can find tamarind concentrate in Asian, Hispanic, and Mediterranean groceries, and in some supermarkets. The brand we like is Tamcon. Once opened, it keeps for a year in the refrigerator. Tamarind drizzled in whole-milk yogurt is the stuff of dreams.
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tightly-packed tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 large or 2 medium red onions, cut into 1/4-inch wide wedges
  • 1 tightly-packed cup arugula, curly endive, or spring mix, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon Crossover Spice Blend (recipe follows), or a blend of ground coriander, ground cumin, and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate, or 1-1/2 tablespoons lime juice with a little grated zest and 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold-pressed vegetable oil or good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 450°F, and put a large shallow pan on the middle rack (a half-sheet pan is ideal because you don’t want to crowd the vegetables).
  2. In a food processor, combine the garlic, fresh coriander leaves, and ginger. Process until chopped fine – don’t puree them.
  3. Turn the mix into a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients except the finishing seasonings. Toss to blend. Carefully turn the mixture out onto the hot pan, spreading the pieces to cover the entire pan. Roast for about 40 minutes, turning often and scraping up the brown glaze from the pan's bottom. Once the peppers are tender, the greens browned, and the chickpeas crisp, the roasting is done. Brussels sprouts may still have some firmness, which is fine.
  4. Taste the vegetables for seasoning, then turn them into a serving bowl. If using the tamarind, blend it in. Drop the coriander leaves over the vegetables, and pass the yogurt separately.
Crossover Spice Blend
Makes about 3/4 cup
Keeps for 3 to 4 months in a dark, cool cupboard
There is a trio of spices that easily crosses borders from North Africa to the Middle East, to India, to Mexico: cumin, coriander, and pepper. Make up this foundation blend, then alter where needed as you take it from cuisine to cuisine. For instance, Morocco might demand the addition of sweet paprika, while an Indian recipe could call for more coriander and black pepper, and Mexico more cumin and the addition of ground chiles.

Rub or sprinkle the blend over vegetables and meats when roasting, sauté it into stews and soups, and use it as a finishing spice on salads and grains. Try mixing the blend with an equal amount of brown sugar and rubbing it into meats before placing them on the grill. That same mix offers a new take on grilled fresh pineapple.

Cook to Cook: You can tease even more flavor from Crossover Spice Blend by freshly grinding whole cumin and coriander seeds.
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup ground coriander
  • 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) freshly-ground black pepper
Blend the spices together in a jar, and seal. Store away from heat and light.

I didn't make the crossover blend, but when I delivered the meal my friends ate the tamarind with the chicken and said it was delicious.

1 comment:

Simply Life said...

I love the seasonings you used in this!