Monday, October 09, 2006

honey cardamom trial and success

Last night I made this Honey Cardamom Chicken. It was pretty easy, and quite tasty, too!

Here's the finished dinner, all ready for today's lunch in a ziploc container:

I think Cardamom (mon?) is my new favorite spice. I bought a bag of the seeds from the Indian aisle of the store. It was a whole $5 cheaper than the ground stuff in the spice aisle, and I think it will last me quite awhile. Plus, like most spices, grinding it fresh will make it more flavorful:

Looks like cardamom can help digestion, freshen breath, and it's believed to be an aphrodisiac (which may have something to do with the good digestion and fresh breath...)! A couple recipes that I may have to try are this pea soup and some lamb chops. It's also used in breads and pastries a lot in Scandinavian cooking, so maybe I'll try it in some beer bread.

Back to my dinner. To accompany the chicken, I kind of winged a sweet potato concoction. I diced 3 sweet potatoes into bite size pieces and blanched it in salted simmering water for about 4 or 5 minutes. I diced a yellow onion into approximately the same size and put those in my baking dish, poured the hot, drained potatoes over them, and added a large, rinsed can of chick peas. I sprinkled a little bit of nutmeg and ground clove over everything, along with a good amount of salt and pepper. Then I melted 1/3 stick of butter and stirred in about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and poured that mixture over the veggies. I used my hands to mix everything together and put it in the oven. I cooked the chicken and the veggies at the same time, but the chicken took a little longer to cook. Here's a closeup of the vegetable mixture, and you can see the roasting dish below it with it's yummy caramelized bits still stuck to it:

And a closeup of the combination:

mmm, it was tasty. Oh, and everything baking in the oven gave the apartment a very thanksgiving kind of smell, what with the sweet potatoes, onions and nutmeg. I thought this would be more of an Indian flavor-type meal, but it was quite traditional-American tasting, with a twist of exotic. The chicken skin was quite sweet, from the honey, and the underside, because of the lemon it was sitting on, had an initial fruity-pebbles quality to it. But all together, the flavors were very nice.

I think I'll make it again, with all chicken legs. This time I used 4 thighs, which were good, very moist and flavorful, but I think legs would get more of the flavor of the marinade, because they are smaller and have a higher skin-to-meat ratio.

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