Sunday, March 31, 2013

Middle Eastern Pan fried Chicken with Harissa & Rose Water Sauce

Adapted from Jerusalem A Cookbook  (a book I MUST get)

Printable Recipe 

Prep time: 10 minutes
Marinate: 2 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 2

3 tbsp harissa paste (from Middle Eastern stores and many supermarkets)
1 tsp ground cumin
2 boneless chicken breasts, pounded so they are the same thickness throughout.
1 egg beaten with a little olive oil
Mazto meal or panko crumbs for coating
enough olive oil to just coat the bottom of a large skillet
1 large onion, finely chopped
6-7 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water
1 1/2- 2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp rose water
1/2 cup dried currants
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


1. Mix together half the harissa, cumin in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Pound the chicken breasts flat and then cut across the breasts into 1- 1 1/2" strips. Rub the paste all over the chicken strips and leave them to marinate for 2 hours in the fridge.

3. In another bowl, beat the egg and olive oil.  Place a layer of matzo meal or panko on a large plate. 

4.  "Bread" the chicken: - dip the chicken strips into the egg wash and then lay them on the breading, pressing lightly.  Flip and repeat the process. Coat with more crumbs if needed.

5. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and fry the fillets for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the under side is crispy. You may need to do this in two batches. 

6. Remove the strips from the pan and set aside, leave the oil in the pan and add the onions. Stir as you cook for about 8 minutes, until the onions are golden.

7. Add the remaining harissa, vinegar, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of black pepper. Pour in the water, lower the heat and let the sauce simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, until quite thick.

8. Add the honey and rose water to the pan along with the currants and simmer gently for a couple more minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings and then return the chicken to the pan. 

9. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and leave to warm up in the simmering sauce for 3 minutes; you may need to add a few tablespoons of water if the sauce is very thick. 

Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with cilantro.  I served it over quinoa.   The authors actually made the dish with sea bass fillets.  That's on tap for next week.

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