29 June 2017

Harissa chicken with fennel bulgur pilaf

We've been loving some of Nadia Lim's My Food Bag recipes lately, and last night's dinner was another winner.  Sometimes I have bought the food bag itself, sometimes I've just worked from the recipes on the website, as was the case here.  So there are a few tweaks, where I didn't have the exact ingredients that would've been sent out with the bags (ie: I used fennel seeds in place of fresh fennel bulb, and ras-el-hanout with a little turmeric powder in place of baharat mix).  

We'll definitely be doing this one again, would like to try it with lamb steaks in place of the chicken, or even some fish?  KB made the good point that, because it is VERY filling, perhaps a smaller portion of the pilaf and chicken, with some steamed greens on the side.  Yum!! 

300 g chicken breasts
3 tbsp harissa paste
1/4 tsp salt
2 - 3 carrots, peeled and cut into quarters lengthways

1/2 red onion, cut in half then thinly sliced
1.5 tsp ras-el-hanout 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fennel seeds 
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
3/4 cup bulgur wheat
50 - 75 g baby spinach leaves, chopped a little

75 g natural yoghurt (I like Gopala Full Cream)
2 tsp basil pesto (sundried tomato pesto would work well too)
2 tbsp coriander leaves and stalk, chopped
slivered almonds (these are great raw or toasted)
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius, fan-forced (a little higher if not fan-forced).  
  2. Cut chicken into steaks by placing your hand flat on top of the breast and slicing through horizontally to make two thinner steaks.  Combine harissa and salt in medium bowl, add chicken and mix to coat.  Cover and place in fridge until you're ready to cook it (this can be done hours in advance, if you wish).  
  3. Melt butter in roasting tray and put carrots in to start cooking (season with a little salt and pepper).  
  4. Heat a little butter in a medium pot.  Add onion and cook for a couple of minutes until softening.  Add spices and second portion of salt.  Add water and bring to the boil.  Once boiling stir in wheat and cover with lid.  Remove from heat and leave covered to allow to steam for 10 minutes (don't take the lid off until you're ready to stir through the chopped spinach and serve).  
  5. Heat butter in large pan and fry chicken steaks briefly on both sides (to sear).  Remove from pan and add to roasting tray with carrots (these should already be cooking away). 
  6. While chicken and carrots finish cooking in the oven (remember chicken is relatively thin, so shouldn't take too long, maybe 15 minutes tops), mix together yoghurt and pesto. 
  7. Remove lid from pilaf and stir through the spinach.   
  8. To serve place dollop of yoghurt on each place, to help the pilaf remain in place.  Top with a couple spoons of pilaf (it's very filling!) and carrot sticks.  Next a layer of chicken (we sliced ours up once cooked), topped with almonds and coriander.  Enjoy!!

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