The distinctive flavors in these chicken dishes will wow even the most jaded diner guest! Learn more about these recipes in my post, Festive Chicken Dishes for the Holidays.
Chicken Spring Rolls with Two Sauces
This tasty recipe comes from the Art Institute of Chicago. Have all the ingredients arranged in front of you before you start forming the spring rolls. Serves 8 as an appetizer
8 (8-inch-round) sheets dried rice paper (available in Asian section of supermarket)
1 (6-ounce) package bagged salad lettuce, with carrots
1 (10-ounce) package fully cooked chicken breast strips
1 bunch cilantro leaves
1 bunch mint leaves
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
1 package sliced mushrooms
1/2 (10-ounce) package thin Asian rice noodles
Soften rice papers according to package directions; drain and set aside. Working with one sheet of rice paper at a time, completely immerse the sheet of rice paper in hot water for a few seconds. Remove from water; lay flat on work surface.
On one half of rice paper, place small handful of lettuce and carrots, four slices of chicken, two or three cilantro leaves, two or three mint leaves, a pinch of scallion, four or five sliced mushrooms and a small wad of noodles.
Fold bottom half of the rice paper up over the filling; roll up the sides of the paper to close roll into a pocket. Serve on 8 small plates over additional lettuce leaves, with Spicy Tomato Chili Sauce and Peanut-Hoisin Sauce (recipes follow).
Spicy Tomato Chili Sauce
1/2 cup bottled Asian chili-garlic sauce (or sweet and sour sauce)
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients in saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15-20 minutes. Strain sauce through fine sieve. Allow to cool completely.
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon bottled Asian chili-garlic sauce (or sweet and sour sauce)
2 tablespoons coconut milk
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
In medium bowl, dissolve sugar in hot water. Add remaining ingredients except peanut butter; mix well with whisk. Add peanut butter and whisk until well blended and smooth.
Nutrition Analysis, Per Serving: 200 calories; 3 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 30 g carbohydrate
Thin, dried rice flour noodles can be purchased in Asian markets and in grocery stores in the Asian food section. Also called “rice sticks,” the thin noodles must be soaked in warm water to soften. Cellophane noodles (bean threads) can be used; soak in hot tap water 15 minutes to soften.
As the soaking noodles become pliable, you can pull them apart with your fingers. Drain noodles well. You can cut the mound of drained noodles in half or into thirds for easier handling. Cooked Japanese somen or even angle hair noodles can be used in a pinch.
Moroccan Roasted Chicken
This recipe comes from COPIA in Napa, California. Serves 4
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
1/2 preserved lemon*3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 small onion, chopped roughly
1 carrot, peeled and chopped roughly
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups boiling water
1 bottle (16-ounces) pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
Wash chicken and gently pull loose the skin. Set aside. In food processor, combine preserved lemon, olive oil, garlic, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cayenne pepper. Grind to smooth paste. Rub marinade under chicken skin and inside cavity. Place chicken in refrigerator and marinate at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 500 F. In large roasting pan, combine onion, carrot, cinnamon stick, sugar and boiling water. Place chicken in pan and cook in preheated oven 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and turn chicken over; cook another 20 minutes. Turn chicken over again and cook 20 minutes; turn chicken final time and cook additional 20 minutes. Baste chicken with pan juices during each turn.
While chicken is cooking, place pomegranate juice in small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Cook until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove chicken to cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes. Place drippings from pan in medium saucepan; add reduced pomegranate juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 15 minutes to thicken. Stir in mint.
* Preserved Lemons
To make preserved lemons, cut 4 large lemons into 8 wedges each. In mixing bowl, toss with 2/3 cup salt and 1 cup fresh lemon juice. Transfer to large glass jar and cover with tight-fitting lid. Let lemons stand at room temperature for one week, shaking jar each day. Add olive oil to cover lemons and store, covered and refrigerated, up to 6 months.
Nutrition Analysis, Per Serving:
720 calories; 40 g fat; 10 g saturated fat; 28 g carbohydrate
Chicken photos are credited to National Chicken Council/ US Poultry & Egg Association.