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Karen Martini’s Syrian Chicken

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I’ve been making this fabulous chicken dish created by Karen Martini since it was published in our daily newspaper’s Sunday magazine several years ago. Sweet and spicy, the chicken looks fantastic on a bed of couscous taken to the table on an intricately decorated platter. Like every cook, my ego needs to be massaged so the chorus of oohs and aahs that usually greet this dish has led to me cooking it for many of my friends. I have had people refuse to leave my house without this recipe.

I have messed with the original formula a bit. I add carrots, chick peas and sometimes baby zucchinis so we have a one pot dinner and I’ve made necessary adjustments to the recipe to comply with my family’s dietary challenges, but the crux of this dish, the beautiful flavour remains unchanged. It’s big, it’s bold and it’s beautiful.

You’ll find this recipe and many other delicious creations by Karen Martini in her book “At Home Cooking” that is being explored during March on the Cookbook Guru, hosted by Leah.

It’s simple to join in. Cook from the designated book for the month, create a post and after you’ve published, let Leah know via the Cookbook Guru and she’ll reblog your contribution. A roundup post at the end of the month will also include a link to your post

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12 chicken thighs on the bone

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon rice flour

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 large carrots cut into batons

60g fresh ginger julienne

5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red chilli

200g canned tomatoes, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin seed

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 lemon, juice and zest

2 tablespoons brown sugar

100g currants

1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed

11/2 cups vegetable stock

In a large freezer bag, combine the salt, flour, ground cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and pepper.
Add the chicken pieces to the bag and toss to coat the chicken in the spiced flour.
Heat the oil in a large lidded pan, then thoroughly brown the chicken and set aside.
Sauté the carrots and ginger then add the chilli, cumin seed and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, tomatoes, lemon juice and zest, brown sugar, currants, chick peas and stock.
Stir well then return the chicken to the pan.
Cover the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Uncover the pan and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Serve on a bed of couscous.
Serves 6

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

24 comments on “Karen Martini’s Syrian Chicken

  1. Pingback: What we thought of Cooking At Home with Karen Martini | The Cookbook Guru

  2. Middle East Moments
    March 31, 2014

    I don’t know how I missed this post!!! This looks amazing and for once when I read a recipe that looks so inviting I can get all the ingredients for it! Yay! 🙂 I know what’s on the menu for this week.

    Like

  3. Leah
    March 16, 2014

    Reblogged this on The Cookbook Guru and commented:

    Well we’ve seen the original version of this recipe…now try out this beautiful evolution that Lady Red Specs has come up with. It’s proof of the value of idea’s that you can get from exploring Karen Martini’s work.
    Happy Cooking everyone,
    Leah

    Like

  4. tinywhitecottage
    March 13, 2014

    First of all your photograph is convincing enough. Then after a glance at the ingredients, oh my Sandra! This looks like something I would love. All the spices, chickpeas and chicken sound wonderful. And if your guests are refusing to leave then until you hand over the recipe, then I know it has to be off the charts.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 13, 2014

      Thank you! This dish just has that something that makes it especially delicious. The flavours are quite bold, but the sweet spiciness make it a dish well worth making!

      Like

  5. Eha
    March 12, 2014

    Would you belive it took me quite awhile to ‘make friends’ with Karen Martini’s cooking – perhaps till I bought a book of hers and found that I really liked her recipes, tho’ did modify a few because of fat content and mode of cooking. This sounds quite delightful – cook a lot of Middle Eastern food but have to try this exactly the first time around!!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 12, 2014

      Of course I would always advocate trying the original recipe verbatim before making changes. I look at Karen’s recipes in the Epicure weekly and sometimes try them. This is the only one I’ve gone back to over and over, it’s a great combination of flavours! I’d love to hear how you go making it, cheers

      Like

      • Eha
        March 12, 2014

        I am pleased for the lady that just today another Sydney food blog published another of her recipes . . . nice to see when hard work bears fruit . . .

        Like

  6. trixpin
    March 12, 2014

    What a beautiful looking dish, and not quite like anything else I’ve had. I bet it’s delicious!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 12, 2014

      Thanks, the flavour of the spices and the other aromatics blend beautifully, well worth making!

      Like

  7. lapetitecasserole
    March 12, 2014

    I’ve read paying attention to the huge list of ingredients… I’m in love with all of them… so I’m pretty sure that I would love your Syrian chicken!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 12, 2014

      Thanks. It is an excellent way to prepare chicken, big delicious flavours

      Like

  8. Fae's Twist & Tango
    March 12, 2014

    The long list of the ingredients fools one for this, a little time consuming but not a difficult dish, and yet so healthy with all kinds of healthy ingredients.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 12, 2014

      Thanks Fae. The long list of ingredients looks daunting, but many of them are spices. it’s actually a reasonably quick dish to make

      Like

  9. Charisma
    March 11, 2014

    Mmm that looks just soo good! Love the colours!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 11, 2014

      Thanks, yes it’s a good looking dish and the flavour matches the looks!

      Like

  10. Glenda
    March 11, 2014

    This dish is clearly popular, I really will need to try it.

    Like

  11. My Kitchen Witch
    March 11, 2014

    Really yum! I’ve never heard of Karen Martini, but will need to investigate now.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 11, 2014

      Karen is a Melbourne chef who made a name for herself in restaurants before being taken up by the print media and TV. Her food takes lots of interesting twists and turns without being ridiculous.

      Like

      • My Kitchen Witch
        March 11, 2014

        I looked her up online and came across her web page – really fabulous types of food she makes. Thanks for introducing her to me (via the Cookbook Guru!). If I had her book, I’d join in. Perhaps next book.

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        March 11, 2014

        You don’t need the book to join in, there are loads of her recipes online. Karen writes for the Epicure in our daily newspaper, that’s where my collection of her recipes come from.

        Like

  12. Leah
    March 11, 2014

    WOW, yum! I love the addition of vegies, it was something that I think it needed and we went with when we had leftovers the second night. 🙂 xxx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 11, 2014

      It’s and oldie and a goodie for us, and yes the carrots almost make this dish,they really are worth adding. Xxx

      Like

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This entry was posted on March 11, 2014 by in Chicken dishes, Food, Gluten Free, Main Meals, The Cookbook Guru and tagged , , , , .
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