COOKING WITH DANGER MAN
SPICED CHICKEN SERVED WTIH RATATOUILLE AND SPINACH
This post is contributed by One Drop member – Johnathan Oh
Chicken is one of the most delicious ingredient to cook and does not require much imagination to make it good but with imagination, you can make hundreds of dishes out of this humble bird. This Spiced Chicken served with Ratatouille and Spinach recipe will definitely impress your guest(s) as the chicken is bursting with flavour and the ratatouille pairs wonderfully with the flavourful fat from the chicken. Its no wonder that this poultry is the most consumed meat in the whole world. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients, save this recipe for your special occasion!
Happy cooking, eating and eating well!
Ingredients (Chicken + Marinade)
- 2-3 whole chicken leg
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 2 medium sized aubergines
- 1 whole carrot – peeled and cubed
- 1 cup of ripe Roma tomatoes – roughly chopped
- 1 cup of butternut squash cut into cubes
- 3 cups of spinach
- 2 shallot – peeled and finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic – minced
- 4 Tablespoon Apple cider
- 2 Tablespoon of Tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken/vegetable stock (I usually use Marmite)
- *A pinch of fennel seed
- *1/2 teaspoon thyme and oregano
- A pinch of coriander powder
- Ground black pepper (to preference)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
*Essential Oil: Lemon, Fennel, Thyme and Oregano
- Wash and pat dry the chicken leg.
TIPS: If the chicken is still wet, it will not marinade well. So pat it as dry as possible.
- Mix all the spices in a bowl. Add a generous pinch of salt to the mixture.
- Rub the dry chicken leg with the spices. Make sure the chicken is well covered with spices. Place the chicken in a zip lock bag and let it marinade in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Heat up a non-stick pan. Do not add any oil.
- Wash and halve the aubergines lengthwise. Place them into the hot pan to sear till caramelised on both sides. Add some water into the pan, put a lid over the pan and off the fire. Let it steam/rest for 5 minutes and remove onto a plate.
- Using the same pan, add EVOO and shallots to fry. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar for caramelisation.
- Add the apple cider to de-glaze the pan.
- Add the carrots into the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash, chopped tomatoes, fennel seed powder, coriander powder, dry oregano and thyme into the pan. Stir and mix the ingredients together for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and stock to the pan. Season with pepper and salt. Bring to boil and then turn down heat to cook for another 5 minutes before you turn off the heat and continue cooking with the residual heat.
- Heat up a separate pan. Add EVOO and the chicken leg. Sear skin down around 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn to sear the other side and add the garlic and 2 knobs of butter into the pan. Baste the chicken with the oil.
- You can either place the chicken in the oven heated to 200C for 5-8 minutes. Don’t have an oven, scroll down a bit to get other method of cooking.
- For the spinach, you can either serve it raw or blanch it with hot water (I did the latter). Dress it with tahini or Kewpie sauce.
Assemble the dish onto a plate and serve.
How to use Essential Oil (EO) for cooking:
First and foremost, please check and ensure that the essential oils that you intend to use are safe for ingestion. I got mine from here, so I know that I could use them with a peace of mind.
I use Lemon, Fennel, Thyme and Oregano Essential Oil for this dish. In order to use the EO to cook, please try to adhere to the following:
- DO NOT use EO from unknown, unspecified and unverified sources (Can’t stress this enough)
- DO NOT drip the EO directly on your dish
- DO NOT use EO on direct heat to avoid destroying the benefits of the EO
This is how you SHOULD do when using the EO for cooking this recipe. Pour some EVOO into a small bowl, then mix (dilute) the Essential Oil into the EVOO so that you can add the EO evenly and safely to the dish. By the way, dripping the EO directly on the dish will not cause you to die from EO overdose BUT it will definitely destroy your dish.
For this dish, I use ONE drop of Thyme and Oregano, a SWIPE of Fennel and TWO drops of LEMON Essential Oil diluted in 2 tablespoon of EVOO. I only add this mixture into the Ratatouille at the end of cooking and mixing them into the dish in residual heat
Photographers always say that “the best camera is the one in your hand”, it is only true if THAT camera is the only one available to you. The saying by no way negates the importance of having the right equipment on hand and most professional photographers will never go out on a subpar equipment. The same is true in cooking. While we try to make do with what we have in order to cook, it is important to have the proper equipment whenever possible so that we could achieve more. Yes we can improvise, but the results often does not turn out the way it was intended. Get your oven, it will help you create so much more delicious food for your family.
If owning an oven is not an option, you can either put a lid on the pan, turn down the heat and continue to cook the chicken for 8-10 minutes, then remove from the heat with the lid on to let the chicken rest (which may cause the chicken to dry-out and potentially looked un-appetising as well) or you can add 1/4 cup of water into the pan, close with a lid to steam the chicken for 5-8 minutes, then remove from the heat with the lid on to let the chicken rest (this will cause the nicely seared skin to become soggy and the chicken to lose some flavor to the steaming water).
While preparing the ratatouille, I usually have another pot of boiling water for cooking the spinach. Once the water boils, I will add all the spinach into the hot water and turn off the heat immediately. The spinach should be cooking in the residual heat less they become too soft and soggy. This speeds up the cooking time and I could also use the cooking water to add into the ratatouille when the liquid has started to dry out.
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