Week 13, Meal 3: Grilled chermoula-marinated chicken over stewed chickpea and tomato

If there’s one thing I can trust Chef Brian with wholeheartedly, it’s putting together a badass marinade for some chicken.

He set the bar high with a garlicky, herbaceous marinade for Week 1: Chicken and apples, and then he managed to blow my taste buds away with the spice mix on for the tandoori chicken tacos we did for Fusion Taco Week.

He managed to do it again with the smoky punch of chermoula, the paprika and herb-filled marinade of Morocco. Here’s Week 13, Meal 3: Grilled chermoula-marinated chicken over stewed chickpea and tomato.

The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)

Chicken and marinade
2 6 oz. chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 T smoked paprika
1 T cumin
1 t coriander
1/2 t chili flakes
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 orange, zested
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
large pinch saffron (optional)

Stewed chickpeas and tomatoes
2 t olive oil
1 yellow onion, small diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t coriander
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t chili flakes
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
4 roma tomatoes, cut into 1/8′s
3 oz. spinach, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

There’s a lot of cutting and chopping to get to the point where everything is in the food processor, but I didn’t want to bog down the post with too many pictures so I’m going to assume you know how to cut and chop by now.

That being said, to make the chermoula, combine 1/2 cup of cilantro, 1/2 cup of parsley, 1 shallot, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 T of smoked paprika, 1 T of cumin, 1 t of coriander, 1/2 t of chili flake, 1-inch piece of ginger, 1 lemon (zest and juice), the zest of 1 orange, 2 T of olive oil, a pinch of saffron (optional) and salt and pepper to your liking.

Puree until it has a consistency similar to pesto sauce. And I know it’s a lot of work to get to this point already, but 1) the rest of this recipe is pretty easy and 2) this marinade is so worth the work.

Marinate 2 6 oz. chicken breasts with half of the marinade for at least one hour, but preferably overnight. Reserve the other half to finish off the meal with.

Now, to make the chickpea stew. First, drop the small dice on 1 yellow onion and mince 1 clove of garlic.

Next, cut 4 roma tomatoes into 1/8’s.

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 t of olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 1 minute.

Add 1/4 t of cumin, 1/4 t of coriander, 1/4 t of cinnamon and 1/4 t of chili flake. Saute for 30 seconds.

Add 1 can of garbanzo beans and the tomatoes. Stir well, then reduce heat to medium. Cover and stew for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down.

Once that happens, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, until the beans are soft.

Be conscious of your timing. About 10 minutes into stewing the beans and tomatoes, preheat your grill to high. After preheating, grill your chicken breast, about 5-8 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Let the chicken about 5 minutes after taking it off the grill before you slice it or else you’ll dry up all the meat by letting the juices escape before they can be reabsorbed into the meat.

Once the chickpeas have stewed, mix in 3 oz. of spinach. Season the dish with salt and pepper.

To plate: Serve in a shallow bowl with 1- 1 1/2 cups of stewed chickpeas on the bottom. Top with 1 T of the reserved marinade if you’d like. Then dig in!

Above all, I really loved the smoky paprika – it’s a flavor I enjoy, and one we haven’t used yet on the blog – plus the cinnamon in the bean broth really does a great job of brightening up this herb-heavy, powerful marinade.

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