Gluten Free Arabic Chicken with Yogurt and Pine Nuts

In our family, we had Southern cooking from my Mother’s side and Arabic cooking from my Father’s side.  Luckily my Mom learned how to do both quite well and I grew up eating and enjoying both.  On the occasion that my Tata (which means Grandmother) would come to visit I would set myself up in the kitchen to watch her take over and do her magic.  Now that I’m a mom of two I also enjoy cooking from both worlds, and I came up with this taste of the Middle East below.  I suggest you serve it over toasted rice.  Hope you enjoy it!

Here’s What You Will Need:

1 3-4 lb. Chicken

2-3 tsp. Salt (to your preference)

1/2 C. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Rounded T. Baharat (Arabic Spice Blend – Recipe Follows Below)

  Equal Parts:

  • Allspice
  • Black Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger Powder
  • Ground Fenugreek Seeds (check with your Mediterranean grocer or even online – Amazon carries it or you can visit this website for premixed Baharat http://spicely.com/products/organic-baharat-seasoning

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a roasting pan or large dutch oven.

Liberally salt both sides of the chicken.  Using a knife or kitchen shears, make shallow crosshatch snips in the skin numerous times both on the front and the back.  Rub both sides of the chicken with the Baharat spice mix.  Stuff the 2 whole cloves of garlic inside the cavity of the chicken.

Place breast side up in the prepared roaster or dutch oven and carefully pour the apple cider vinegar around the sides.

Cover and cook until tender (about 1 – 1 1/2 hours).  Serve over rice with toasted pine nuts and yogurt – recipes are below.

How to Toast Pine Nuts:

Place a handful of pine nuts in an ungreased frying pan over low heat.  Stirring occasionally, toast them until fragrant, about five minutes.  Easy!

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Minted Yogurt with Cucumber:

What You Will Need:

1/2 Medium Cucumber, peeled, seeded (though I cheated and didn’t), and diced finely

1 C. Full Fat Plain Greek Yogurt (you can certainly use low fat or fat free but it doesn’t taste as good)

1/4 C. Chopped Fresh Mint Leaves

Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

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Mix everything together, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  I suggest you make the yogurt first as it tastes better the longer it sits in the fridge.

Toasted Rice Recipe:

What You Will Need:

2 C. Basmati or Jasmine Rice, uncooked

1 T. Olive Oil

2 C. Water

2 C. Chicken Broth

Salt, to Taste

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In a large pan heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the rice, stirring to coat, and cook until fragrant – 3-5 minutes – stirring frequently.  Add the broth and water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Salt according to your taste.

Assemble your plate with rice, topped with chicken, yogurt, and pine nuts!

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