Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spiced Chicken Breasts with Algerian Wedding Rice

Wanted to try something different for dinner tonight and needed to figure out something for chicken breasts.

Spiced Chicken Breasts
6 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Trim chicken breasts and pound lightly.  Mix spices and garlic with oil and brush onto chicken pieces.  Marinate chicken breasts in refrigerator several hours or overnight.  Brush a heavy skillet with olive oil and allow to heat up.  Add chicken and cook over medium high heat.  About 7 minutes per side until done.

Algerian Wedding Rice
1 cup long grain brown rice
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups of water
Add water, butter and rice to pan, bring to a boil, cover and cook rice for 50 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork when done.
1 cup dried apricots, cut into bits, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained
1/2 cup almond slivers
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 bunches green onions, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, softened
sea salt and pepper
Toss cooked rice with remaining ingredients.  Season to taste.  Place in a buttered casserole dish and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.

Now I have no idea how the rice got its name nor do I know if there is any significance to Alergia.  If anyone knows please comment so that we can all learn about it.

The meal was served with a caesar salad.

Caesar Salad
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
2 pressed garlic cloves
1/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 cup vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
Mix together. 
Add just enough dressing to coat romaine lettuce but not too much.  Sprinkle each salad with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Here are some notes about the spices that were used on the Chicken.  
Turmeric:  One compound in turmeric (curcumin) inhibits the synthesis of substances called prostaglandins in the body that are involved with pain.  In addition to good amounts of vitamins C and E and carotenoids, turmeric contains many other antioxidants.  Also turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory as well as many other things.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon contains an antibacterial action when combined with other herbs.  Cinnamon has a reputation to help with fevers. 
Cumin: Contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Paprika: Contains Vitamin C and high in antioxidants.
Curry Powder: Curry is a mixture of spices.  Which can contain: coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and red pepper.  Other spices in curry can also contain: ginger, garlic, fennel seed, clove, cardamom and nutmeg.
Information about these spices were found in the book The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke, Ph.D.

This post was shared on the Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania for 2/20/2012

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