I did my spice rotation today. Which isn’t a huge task I just bring stuff like dried chili powders, turmeric, cumin, I also bring my baking items down because this is the time that I bake most. While I was cleaning the cabinet and rotating I got a huge whiff of cumin. It brought back so many memories and I knew I had to make one of my absolutely favorite dishes. Now cumin used to be my least favorite spice until I learned to use it properly.
My first restaurant gig was actually behind the counter serving in a Lebanese restaurant. Of all the places I’ve worked, heck even some places I’ve been Head Chef at, this place had some of the best, most memorable, influential and inspiring food I’ve ever had. I still to this day can remember all the specials I had to write on the black board. Like kefta, fallafel, Sheik al Mehsah and my all time favorite kibbeh bi laban. All the food had a story, It was family style food, it was the stuff the owners, the chefs and the majority of waitstaff and patron grew up on. That being said after I stopped working there and some time past it can be kind of pain trying to remember the Lebanese names of these dishes to try and get google to understand. So I really to go off my memories and what I remembered from being there. Hopefully I did the place proud with this one. Check it out and let me know what you think!
- 4 Chicken Breast, cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2c Lemon Juice
- 2tsp Coriander
- 1tp Cumin
- 1tsp Salt
- 1tsp Black Pepper
- 1tsp Turmeric
- 1/2c Olive Oil
- 10 Garlic Cloves, Minced
Fried Onion and Almond Rice
- 2c Basmati Rice
- 3c Vegetable Stock
- 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 1/4tsp Cumin
- 1/4tsp Coriander
- 1/4tsp Turmeric
- 2 Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3c Slivered Almonds
- 1tsp Salt
FOR THE CHICKEN:
- MARINATE: Combine cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and turmeric together with olive oil, lemon and garlic cloves. Combine with cubed chicken. Let sit from 4 hours to overnight.
- COOK: Once marinated, heat cast iron pan over medium high heat. Working in batches cook chicken in a little bit of olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes depending on size of chicken. Serve over rice.
FOR THE FRIED ONION AND ALMOND RICE:
- FRY ONIONS: Start off by putting generous amount of oil ( 2-3Tb) in pan.
- Add in sliced onions and fry till golden and brown. For about ten minutes. If onions aren’t getting a deep brown color kick up the temperature. Do not season with salt at this time.
- SEASON: Add slivered almond, garlic and rice to pan to fry in pan with onions for about a minute. Season with turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt.
- BOIL RICE: Add in vegetable stock and move a spatula on the bottom of pan to make sure nothing sticks. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook according to package instructions. Once done.
- FLUFF & ADJUST: Let rice sit for 5 minutes. Fluffy with a fork and add a pinch of salt to taste.