Hello Dear Friends,
Before I get into today’s recipe, it is with a heavy heart that I write this blog as Palestine is embroiled in a human rights catastrophe. The killing of children is never justified under any circumstances, and the videos of the daily carnage are wrecking my soul. I recommend to anyone that wants to learn more about what is happening, to step completely outside of mainstream media, and go to more credible independent journalists and activists on the ground. Some outstanding publications and feeds I highly recommend are:
Mid East Eye: https://www.middleeasteye.net/
Defense for Children in Palestine: https://www.dci-palestine.org/
B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights: https://www.btselem.org/
972 Magazine: https://www.972mag.com/
I will carry on and continue to write this food blog, as 1) I don’t want to let my readers down and 2) Writing about creative activities like cooking is an escape for me, as I can’t help but look at the live feeds and reports coming out of Palestine 24/7 and lose my mind in the process. So here goes…
In response to many of you asking me how to prepare chicken in a unique, easy , and fun way, I developed this Pyramid Chicken recipe below. I call it pyramid chicken because you stack the fillets on top of one another on a homemade spit roaster to allow the chicken to roast evenly.
I personally love to eat chicken breast because it is filling, high in protein, and low in saturated fat. But let’s face it, the wrong preparation of chicken breast results in super dry meat equivalent to stuffing of an old couch. Over the years I have used many tips and tricks to turn chicken breast into a tender and juicy fillet, and I am going to share them with you right now so are you ready?
- Make sure you use excellent quality chicken. The best are not only organic and free range, but pasture raised and air chilled. Generally local farmers at your farmer’s market will carry this kind of chicken, but if not, I recommend any organic and air-chilled chicken brand near you. The most popular method in the U.S. has been to water-chill birds. However, a handful of chicken processors have embraced the air-chilled method. The air-chilling process results in great tasting chicken with tender, succulent meat that also lends to perfect roast chicken with extra-crispy skin.
- Use a tenderizer. A tenderizer is not only great to unleash your frustrations of the day, but to also tenderize the chicken and create a surface that better absorbs any marinade. Which leads me to…
- Marinate your chicken! Preferably with buttermilk or yogurt, which break down the acids in chicken, leading to a more tender meat
- Marinate the chicken at least 2 hours, this is a good time to let the acidity of the yogurt absorb into the meat, as well infuse any other spices you add with it.
- Cooking method is important, (hint do not boil the chicken) Spit roasting is great to retain the juices and ensure even cooking–you can even use a make shift spit roaster which I will describe below!
- Let the meat rest at least 15 minutes before you cut it. You worked so hard to make chicken juicy, if you cut it right away all those juices will leach out!
Before trying out the recipe, check out my video below on the technique to making your own easy spit roaster which costs basically nothing! =)
- 1 pound chicken fillets (breast or thigh whatever you prefer)
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil To get 10% off Palestinian olive oil go to http://www.harvestpeace.com and use promo code BlancheTV
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 large onion
- 1 wooden skewer
Combine all of the ingredients from the Greek yogurt to the pepper in a bowl. Take the chicken, and coat each fillet with the yogurt and spice mix. You can keep the chicken in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours–or overnight is best. When ready to cook, peel the onion, and cut the end of the bottom side so that the onion can sit flat in the pan. Soak the wooden skewer for 30 minutes, then pierce the onion with it. Layer the chicken fillets on top of the onion. Make sure you don’t add too much chicken or else it will topple over. Use more onions and skewers to make a bigger batch of chicken. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then bake the chicken for 45- 50 minutes.
Serve like a chicken shawarma in wrap, in a salad, or with vegetables and rice on the side.