Given all of the turmoil in the news these days, I need a break! So let’s focus on one of my favorite and non-political aspect of the Middle East – the food! If anything can bring us all together, food just might be it. Maybe if we all get together and cook for and with each other, we’ll be more focused on delicious flavors and new friendships than differences of politics, religion, and all the rest. One of my favorite authors/bloggers is Sasha Martin, who created the site Global Table Adventure says this: “…cooking has the power to help families bond, empower, and heal. What’s more, setting a global table creates compassion and understanding – which helps the world heal…” I’ve mentioned this beautiful site before… you should all go take a look. Ever since I stumbled upon her site (years ago!), I’ve been inspired by her.
The flavors of the Middle East are amazing. This recipe isn’t based on a traditional recipe that I found, but was instead developed based on delicious spices/flavors and the ingredients I had at home. The chicken comes out nice and moist, and surprisingly, the carrots might be my favorite part of the whole thing! When you eat your chicken, spoon a little bit of the braising liquid on top so you get as much flavor as possible 🙂
Braised Chicken Thighs with Middle Eastern Spices
- 4 large bone-in chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Salt & pepper
- 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
- 20+ baby carrots
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Salt & pepper the chicken thighs on both sides.
- In a dutch oven (or similar stove/oven-proof dish), heat the 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, place the thighs in the dish, skin side down. Leave to sear for ~6 minutes. Then flip and brown on the non-skin side for another 4-5 minutes. Once the chicken is browned on both sides, remove to the side briefly.
- Lower the heat just slightly and toss the onions and garlic into the remaining oil. Cook stirring occasionally until just beginning to brown, ~10 minutes.
- At this point, if there is significantly excess oil, drain it off.
- Add all of the spices to the onions and garlic. Cook an additional 3 minutes.
- Deglaze the dish with the chicken stock, scraping all the delicious brown bits from the bottom.
- Return the chicken and the carrots to the dish.
- Cover with the lid and place into the oven. The chicken will braise for 45 minutes.