This can also be prepared as a vegetarian recipe, which is inexpensive and healthy…it just takes some time if you use dried garbanzo beans (versus canned, which are convenient, but don’t have the same texture as using dried).
Note: it’s very helpful to use a smart cooker (e.g. Instantpot, or similar) when preparing this dish. If you don’t have one, a regular pressure cooker will work–or you can simply cook the beans for longer. Just plan ahead!
1 bag dried garbanzo beans (~16 oz)
3/4 lb diced chicken breast
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbs olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs turmeric
2 tsp coriander
3 cloves garlic (or 2 tsp garlic paste)
2 tsp each salt/pepper
1 1/2 cups finely diced carrots
1 lg onion, finely diced
1 lg sweet potato, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)
1-2 Thai chilies (per taste)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
Note: if using dried beans, cook in pressure cooker (with stock) for about 40 minutes before preparing the dish.
If using dried beans, cook them and retain–with stock–to cook chicken separately.
If you retain beans, heat oil and saute chicken (to brown it) along with spices. Once the spices and chicken are browned, you can add back the beans and finish the dish.
Wash dried beans
Add beans, along with stock, to Instantpot (or pressure cooker), salt & pepper
Cook for ~30 minutes
Once the beans are cooked, reserve beans and remaining liquid while you cook the chicken
Add olive oil to pot; once hot, add chicken, carrots, chilies, garlic, bay leaves and onion
Brown chicken and saute onions for 6-7 minutes, along with spices
Add onions and sprinkle with a couple of pinches of salt
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring periodically, until onions caramelize (~10 minutes)
While the onions are cooking, cut chicken into 1″ pieces
Once the onions are caramelized, add the chicken, salt, pepper and spices to the skillet; turn up the heat to medium
Cook chicken, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes–until the chicken is cooked through
Add white wine vinegar; stir to incorporate fully
Place green beans on top of chicken; add stock and cover skillet tightly, reducing heat to medium-low
Let the beans steam for about 10 minutes, until fork tender
Remove skillet from the heat, add mascarpone and toss until the cheese is melted and the sauce begins to thicken
Adjust salt and pepper as needed
Serve immediately over rice pilaf
Variations: If you prefer a more tangy dish, substitute goat cheese for the mascarpone. This is also very good serve over wide egg noodles, if you prefer not to use rice. As a note: mascarpone may be substituted for parmesan in making risotto dishes.
Spice kissed ginger chicken with sweet roasted parsnips over couscous makes for a delicious change of pace. You can add lots of variation in the couscous: try mixing in chopped dried cranberries, toasted pecan pieces, or raisins.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
1-1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs 4-6 parsnips (depending upon size) 1 medium yellow onion, diced 2 cloves minced garlic (or 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste) 2 tbs thin sliced ginger 3/4 tsp five spice powder 1 1/2 tsp each, salt & pepper 1 cup chicken stock 3/4 cup finely minced parsley 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds (for garnish) 3 tbs olive oil 1 box Near East (or similar) couscous 1 tbs butter (for couscous) Variations Add 1/2 cup: – finely chopped dried cranberries – 1/2 cup raisins – 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecan pieces
Heavy bottomed, ovenproof covered skillet Small saute pan Cookie sheet
Heat oil over medium-high heat in ovenproof skillet; once hot, add ginger, garlic and onions. Cook until onions are translucent; make sure to keep stirring so that garlic and ginger don’t burn.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of pepper and five spice over chicken thighs and layer into skillet; be sure that the pieces do not overlap so that they cook evenly. Sear the chicken on all sides; this will take about 5 minutes.
Add chicken stock, cover and place skillet on the middle shelf in the pre-heated oven.
In a small bowl, mix 1/2 tsp of remaining salt and pepper with 1 tbs olive oil; coat parsnips in oil and lay out on cookie sheet.
Place cookie sheet on top shelf in the oven. After 10 minutes, turn parsnips so that they cook on all sides.
Prepare couscous per package directions.
At 25 minutes, the chicken should be cooked and the parsnips should be roasted and fork tender.
Serve chicken family-style on a platter, over couscous. Garnish with finely minced parsley.
Pressed for time? This rotisserie chicken and green bean “cheat meal” can be made in minutes with just a few ingredients.
Rotisserie chicken and green bean stir fry also makes for a nutritious meal: the beans are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin K and silicon (needed for healthy bones, skin, and hair).
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients: 1 rotisserie chicken 1 medium yellow onion, diced “Cook in Bag” green beans (which should be available in the produce section; use fresh green beans if the bagged variety isn’t available, just be aware that you need to top and tail fresh beans, which adds to prep time) 1 tsp ginger paste (or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger) 1 tsp garlic paste (or 1 tsp minced fresh garlic) 1 tsp each, salt & pepper 2 tbs hoisin sauce 2 tbs low-sodium soy sauce 1 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar 2 tbs peanut, or vegetable oil 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts (optional)
Pick and shred the meat from the chicken
Heat oil, garlic and ginger in wok for 1-2 minutes
Add green beans, salt, pepper; stir for 5-7 minutes, until beans begin to soften
Once beans have started to soften up, add 2 tbs water and cover wok; reduce heat to medium and let steam for about 4 minutes (check halfway to ensure that they don’t overcook)
As soon as the beans are tender enough, add chicken hoisin, soy and vinegar. Stir to ensure that sauce coats chicken and green beans evenly.
If desired, add peanuts just before serving for added crunch. Serve over rice.
“Ground nut” (or peanut) stew is popular across Africa. This recipe can be made spicy for adult tastes, or milder to be “kid-friendly”.
It reheats well, so make a big batch and enjoy the leftovers.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 60
Ingredients: 1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces 3-4 tbs natural peanut butter 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 1 large yellow onion, diced 2 tbs tomato paste 1 1/2 cups diced carrot 1 cup diced fresh parsley 1-3 dried Thai chilis (use to taste) 2 tsp each, salt & pepper 1 tsp each, thyme, coriander 3 cups chicken stock 3 tsp cornstarch 2-3 tbs peanut oil 1 cup Jasmine or brown rice 1 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts, for garnish
Equipment needed: – Large, heavy bottomed skillet or Dutch oven – 4 qt. stock pot – Deep serving bowls
Heat oil in skillet; add onions once the oil is hot. Saute the onions until translucent, Add rice to stock pot and cover with an inch of water; put rice on the stove over medium/medium-low heat (with lid on). Be sure to salt the water!
Add peanut butter, tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper, and chilis to the skillet. Once these ingredients are combined, add chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes. Incorporate carrots. Add chicken stock and cover. Cook over medium heat for ~45 minutes. If needed, mix cornstarch with water in a small cup until a slurry forms. Add as needed until your stew reaches the desired thickness. Serve over rice and garnish with parsley and dry roasted peanuts.
Not your usual chicken dish! Stewing the chicken with fresh tomatoes gives the dish a pop. Saffron rice is not only visually appealing, but has an earthy, rich taste. Saffron is actually the stamen of a crocus; pound-per-pound, it is the world’s most expensive spice, but a little goes a long way! The parsley garnish adds not only texture and brightness, but is a good source of anti-oxidants.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, skin on 1 large yellow onion, diced 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 1 1/2 tbs tomato paste 1 cup jasmine rice 1 tsp saffron 1 tsp each, salt & pepper 1 tsp coriander 2 Bay leaves 1 tsp garam masala 1 tsp turmeric 3 1/2 cups chicken stock 2-3 tbs olive oil
Equipment needed: – Meat thermometer – Heavy bottomed, covered skillet (oven safe) – Stock pot – Dutch over, or oven-safe casserole – Large serving platter
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat the oil; when hot, add onions and tomato to the pan. Stir until translucent, then add minced garlic, tomatoes and powdered spices. Cook until the tomatoes are blistered. Remove onions and tomatoes; set aside. Add chicken thighs (season with salt and pepper, first) and cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes, until the meat is at least 160 degrees.
Add the reserved onions, tomatoes, bay leaves and stock into the skillet. Cover and place in the warm oven. Add a dash of olive oil in the stock pot, heat and add rice and saffron. Toast the rice, stirring to avoid burning, for about 3 minutes. Add stock until the rice is covered by about an inch. Simmer over medium/medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
Spoon rice onto the platter, arrange chicken thighs and tomatoes on top of the rice. Garnish with the fresh parsley.