Persian Poultry

This is going to make the best lunch ever.

Sometimes the best part of dinner is thinking about how good it will take when it’s all mushed together in your lunchbox the next day. These days are inherently disappointing – after all, you have to eat the dinner before you can get to the lunchbox. Today was one of those days, though the thought of lunch tomorrow offers some consolation.

I cooked what is normally an old-reliable, but the chicken was disappointingly dry. When I used to make this for my roommates in college, we never had a chicken breast per person, so we’d always chop the chicken into pieces before cooking to make it go further. The recipe as originally called for didn’t include this step, so in the interest of minimising washing up, I cooked the chicken breasts whole tonight. This made a much bigger difference to the finished dish than I imagined, and not in a good way.

It tastes better than it looks!

Persian Chicken, adapted from Jenny Bristow’s Cooked in a Flash (out of print).

This recipe cooks up quite quickly, so it helps to have everything prepared before you start.

4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks

2 tsp paprkia

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp tumeric

2 tsp butter or olive oil (I rarely cook with butter, but I think it gives the onion here a nicer flavour)

1 onion, finely diced

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 pint chicken stock

1/4 pint orange juice (I used the juice of 1 1/2 oranges)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Rind of 1 orange

Handful flaked almonds

Black Pepper, to season.

1. Put the paprkia, tumeric and cinnamon into a large ziplock bag, then add the chicken pieces and shake until well coated.

2. Fry the onions in the butter or olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and chicken pieces. Cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes to seal the favour.

3. Add the chicken stock, orange juice and lemon juice. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in the flaked almonds and orange rind before serving.

Persian-inspired Cous-Cous

Equal volumes cous cous and boiling water. I find a mugful of each is about right for 4, there’s usually a little left over for lunch.

8 dried apricots.

Generous handful fresh coriander.

Juice 1/2 lemon

Juice 1/2 orange

Dash extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper

1. Chuck the cous cous and water together in a bowl, cover and leave for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make a dressing with the orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil. Roughly chop the apricots and coriander.

3. Mix the apricots and coriander into the cous cous, stir in the dressing and serve.

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