Though I was in Edmonton for the UWC for the weekend, I managed to make a decent meal before I left, so I could make it this weekend inspiration. And with the ingredients in my fridge, I wanted to make an homage to the greatest cookbook (that I have) ever (owned)!
Having grown up in the Middle East, the ingredients and flavour combinations of this book is incredibly comforting for me, not to mention delicious. The instructions are clear, the pictures are gorgeous and the food is superb. If I could only eat food that came out of this book for the rest of my life, I would be one happy camper.
But as someone who likes to cook, I very rarely follow all the directions, and make my own modifications. After cooking it the first time, I took things one step further (as I do) and meshed two recipes together (the chicken with clementines and arak and the chicken with fennel and shallots). My family is a big fan of this dish, so I thought I’d share it with you.
As the title suggests, I started with chicken.
The skin is the best part. Don’t you dare throw it out! Next slice up your fennel.
I think we’ve all been there, where we’re racing against the clock to get to ingredients before they go bad. So please do excuse my rapidly browning fennel.
Instead of regular lemons, I got Meyer lemons this time as they were on special in my grocery store. Nothing like that lemony smell filling the kitchen.
After putting the slices of three lemons and one fennel in with the chicken, I got together my spice mixture.
Saffron. Such an indulgence but so worth it. Couple of strands of this baby transforms the dish. The rest of the spices are all more common place: 1 tbsp garlic, 1 tsp each of cumin and chili powder, some peppercorns (I used the pink ones I bought on a whim once) and salt to taste. Mix this mixture into the chicken, fennel and lemon.
Just before it goes into the oven…
… and once it comes out!
Such a great comfort meal. It goes great with some crusty bread or plain rice. And with that, good night!