Monday, March 05, 2007

Sweet and Sour Chicken With Carrots

Preparing for Sunday lunch is always a delight, it's the only time I know the whole family is complete thereby making sure EVERYONE is bound to eat what I cook. That way, when you cook up a great meal, you get tons of compliments! What's cooking anyway, if no one is around to savor what you labored so lovingly for?

Browsing through my back issues of Gourmet magazine, I chanced upon this recipe for which I had almost all the ingredients of. It was an issue for Passover, and its full load of recipes that I so want to try. Well, one at a time... and this certainly is a good start. Lemon and honey makes a great combination that I never thought would work with chicken, but this is so delightful. Its the kind of cooking you would pay an arm and a leg for in a restaurant, but turns out it's easy! Cinnamon and paprika provide such aromatic touch and is also a nice surprise, I mean cinnamon for chicken?! I always thought cinnamon is just for dessert!

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken Thighs With Carrots
Freely adapted from Gourmet magazine, April 2005

8 small chicken thighs with skin and bone (2 1/2 - 2 3/4 lb total)
1 1/4 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, halved lenghtwise, then cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
1 lb carrots (6 medium), cut diagonally into 1-inch pcs
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp mild honey
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped chopped fresh cilantro

Pat chicken dry. Stir together 1 1/2 tsp salt with paprika, cinnamon and pepper. Rub unto chicken. Heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken in batches, turning over once, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Discard all but 3 tbsp oil from skillet, then add onions and carrots. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and slightly brown, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.

Return chicken, skin sides up, nesting it into vegetables. Stir together water, lemon and honey until blended and add to skillet, then cook over moderately low heat, covered, until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender, 25-30 minutes. If necessary, add salt to taste. Sprinkle with herbs just before serving (I didnt have parsley and cilantro, and I substituted the herbs with basil, which worked out just fine).


valentinA said...

No doubt about it, your sweet & sour chicken must have been a hit!
I'd never have thought cinnamon could add an extra taste in sweet & sour dishes!:)

Dee said...

Yah, the cinnamon was a surprise! It worked very well with paprika, it was actually good even without the lemon-honey sauce :)