This is the perfect San Francisco summer dish: the citrus, fresh herbs and pea puree celebrate summer flavors and produce, while the dutch oven cooking method creates the hearty meal necessary to ward of frigid July temperatures. You’ll probably need about 2 hours (you don’t need to watch the pot the whole time) and $25 (mostly for the mojitos to drink with dinner) to make this.
Chicken thighs (I used three but you could get more if you want more leftovers). You could use chicken breasts but they cost 3X as much.
Olives: Get a 1/2 cup container from the olive bar at the grocery store and fill with your favorite (pitted olives). I threw three pickled peppers in there for fun! Woo!!
Fresh Herbs: I like Mint and Basil. But get whatever kind you like in your mouth the best.
Kumquats: A handful of these guys!
Carrots: You know what these are! Use the kind and quantity you like!
Apricot: One of these (or a plum or two figs…whatever you want)
1 bag Frozen Peas: yay!
1 container PLAIN Greek Yogurt: I swear you’ll be sorry if you use vanilla or sweetened yogurt in your dish, bleh!
Chicken Stock: I accidentally used vegetable stock but was this still awesome? Yup!
Spices: Salt, Pepper, Dill Tumeric, Paprika (if you have tagine spices those will work well too)!
A dutch oven: or any kind of pot that can go from stove top -to- oven.
An immersion (hand) blender: Or a blender, or a magic bullet…or your arm, a fork and 10 minutes of squishing.
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees!
1. Make a flavor paste! Throw two cloves of chopped garlic and three pinches of salt (more if you are me and like salt) into the mortar and pestle. Mush it together until it is a paste. Add a pinch of paprika and a pinch of tumeric (less if you are like me and don’t like strong tumeric). Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Mush it up! I got oil all over the place when I did this, so don’t worry babe, it’s totally normal to make a mess.
2. Put it on the chicken thighs! I didn’t take a picture of this because there is nothing grosser than looking at raw chicken. If I could do this step blind folded, I would have.
3. Sear the chicken in the Dutch Oven. I let the D.O. heat up on the stove with some oil before I added the chicken…it gets hot fast so BE CAREFUL not to put the chicken in if the olive oil is smoking. A low-medium setting should be good. Open the window because the paprika cooking will make your eyes water.
4: Add the chicken! I cooked it on both sides until it was cooked all the way through. The beauty of the dutch oven is that after some time cooking in juices, the meat becomes tender again. So it is may be overcooked AND tender! Perfect combo for any OCD chef!
5. Add the olives!
6.Add the stock (I added about a cup to a cup and a half of stock. No need to cover the chicken like you would if you were making a soup).
7. Add the Kumquats (sliced and take out as many of the seeds as you can before you get bored of taking out seeds) and Karrots (I love spelling it like that)!
8. I added 1 tbs of key lime juice for fun here, but only because I had it in the fridge already and I thought it would be good. You could add 2tbs white wine or even 1tbs Balsamic vinegar here…just something acidy to cut the fat from the chicken and the salt from the stock.
9. Put in the Oven (covered) for 45 minutes.
10.Make the Pea Puree! Take a bag of frozen peas and 1 cup of nonfat Greek Yogurt. Blend with your choice of blending method (see above). Put it in the fridge so it doesn’t melt!
11. Chop the herbs! Set aside.
12. With 5 minutes before the chicken is ready, make the couscous. I like instant because it takes 5 minutes.
13. Assemble your dinner! Put couscous, chicken + olives + carrots, pea puree and fresh herbs on a plate. Drink with a mojito.