I am always on the lookout for easy, tasty and healthy dinner recipes. Keeping dinner interesting for the family yet easy for the cook can be a challenge. But I think I found a winner with this one. It comes from this month’s issue of Bon Appétit magazine featuring middle eastern inspired dishes. The chicken does need a long marinating time so a little planning is required. But you can toss the chicken with the herbs and spices in the morning and be ready for a quick-cooking dinner that evening.
The use of paprika and cumin to flavor the chicken really drew me in because we love the Tunisian egg dish, shakshuka, in which eggs are poached in a tomato sauce seasoned with the same spices. The aromas of the paprika and cumin coming from the kitchen as the chicken cooked was enough to draw my daughter out of her room to inquire about what I was making. The original recipe grills the chicken as kebabs which I have a love-hate relationship with. I love the idea of kebabs but always feel like it is too much extra work to cut the meat into small pieces and put them on skewers. And as much as I want to improve my grilling skills, I am still not a good griller. So, I kept the chicken in large pieces and used my trusty cast iron skillet to cook it. This actually created a nice pan sauce that you can sop up with warm pita bread.
My daughter is competing in a 3 day long swim meet this weekend which means leaving home early to get to the pool and returning late. Thank goodness for quick and easy dinners like this.
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Olive oil, for cooking
- Warm pita or naan bread, feta, and fresh mint leaves, for serving
- Mix together garlic, parsley, cumin, paprika, and salt in a medium bowl; add chicken and toss together until the chicken is evenly coated with the herbs and spices. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an oven proof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add chicken pieces and sear on both sides (1- 2 minutes per side). Transfer skillet to the oven and cook until chicken is cooked through, 15–20 minutes. Serve with pita or naan bread, feta and mint.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit, July 2014.