Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Honey Lemon Chicken with Yogurt and Cucumber Salad

This is a vaguely Eastern Mediterranean meal and a fine way to use some pre-cooked chicken. It has three parts: lemon zest rice, lemon-honey chicken, and yogurt-cucumber salad. The rice is aromatic, the chicken is sweet, and the salad has a kick from raw garlic.

Ingredients for two servings:
  • 8 oz. pre-cooked chicken
  • 1/2-2/3 cup rice
  • Juice and zest a lemon
  • 2-3 Tbl. honey
  • 1-2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed and sliced
  • 1 small container plain yogurt (fat free okay)
  • 1 Tbl. fresh dill, chopped fine
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • salt & white pepper
  • water or chicken broth to cook the rice
  1. Rinse the rice in a colander with running water and set aside, covered with water to soak for 10 minutes
  2. Zest the lemon and set aside
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl big enough to hold the chicken.
  4. Add honey and cumin to the lemon juice and stir.
  5. Adjust the lemon juice : honey : cumin proportions to balance the flavors.
  6. Toss the chicken in the mixture and set aside
  7. Pare, seed and slice the cucumber
  8. Toss the cucumber with the yogurt, minced garlic, dill, salt and white pepper. Set aside to meld the flavors.
  9. Rinse the rice one more time, drain and cover with water or chicken broth so that the liquid is about 1/4 inch above the rice.
  10. Cover and bring the rice to a boil and then reduce to low and let simmer about 10 minutes, until the liquid disappears.
  11. Turn off the heat but keep covered and let steam until the rice is done, about 10 minutes.
  12. Warm the sauced chicken in the microwave.
  13. To serve, pile rice in center of plate, spread chicken over the rice, and spoon the cucumber salad around it.

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.