Chicken with Almonds and Honey
I've been trying to check out as many supermarkets/ minimarts that stock up Chinese cooking ingredients as possible during these few weeks but the sad fact is that the varieties are really limited, and even when I managed to find some ingredients that I could use in my cooking, they are not as fresh as I want them to be. So I think it's time for me to explore the cuisine of this region, since the ingredients can be easily purchased anyway. I started off my Middle Eastern cooking project by preparing a dish calls Chicken with Almonds and Honey.
The cooking part is simple enough, it involves simmering of chicken pieces with spices and then baking in the oven with honey and rose water drizzled on it. As mentioned in previous post, I have not receive all my cooking utensils yet, and so I actually baked the chicken in a 22-cm square cake pan lined with aluminium foil. And I also tweaked the recipe a bit by sprinkling chopped almonds on top of cooked chicken pieces instead of baking the chicken with coarsely ground almonds. Well, blame it on the overly congested Dubai port, I can't grind the almonds because my blender is still stucked in one of the containers.
Anyway, back to the recipe, it mentions that the dish should be quite salty before it's baked in the oven, and so I was quite worried that the flavor would be too strong for my liking. But I was pleasantly surprised that the addition of honey actually balanced off the overall flavor and the rose water also gave a nice aroma to the whole dish. I can definitely foresee that this will be a regular dish on our dining table in the future!
Chicken with Almonds and Honey Recipe
(Recipe adapted from here)
1 chicken, cut into quarters
1 large onions, chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp saffron
salt and pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/2 tbs rose water
2-3 tbs honey
1) In a large pot, cook the onion with 2-3 tbs of oil until soft.
2) Stir in ginger and cinnamon, then put in chicken.
3) Add enough water to cover 3/4 of chicken pieces. Then add salt,pepper, saffron, lemon juice and let it simmer with the cover on for about 30 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces 2-3 times in between.
4) Lift the chicken pieces out and arrange then in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over.
5) Mix the rose water with honey, spread over the chicken pieces and bake in a 350 deg F oven for 30-45 minutes. Sprinkle the almonds on the chicken, serve hot.