A couple of weekends ago, I had lunch with my lovely friend Trish the chef. We had lunch in Kingston and Trish wanted to make a stop at the Essential Ingredient store there. I never think of the store as selling food products. I much more associate it with cooking equipment – very nice cooking equipment. But Trish was in there to buy food. Browsing with her opened my eyes to some different foods that were available in Canberra.
So when I found a healthy and delicious looking Moroccan chicken recipe from Half Baked Harvest, instead of being put off by needing the ingredient chipotle chile in adobo sauce, I hopped online and found out the Essential Ingredient stocked it and we were good to go after a quick shopping trip.
I am so glad I tracked down this ingredient as this is a great tasting dish that you do in one pot and incorporates vegetables which I normally struggle to eat as I hate cooking them separately and creating more washing up when I am only cooking for me.
I skipped the pistachio couscous with goats cheese as that would have made it quite a high calorie meal but it was very filling with just the chickpeas. It came out at 420 calories without cheese. I should have read the recipe properly as the goats cheese is crumbled on top at the end and this would have been lovely without adding too many calories. But when I did my shopping list I hadn’t included the couscous ingredients and so didn’t have the goats cheese on hand. After taking a couple of bites I was craving that goats cheese. I ended up sprinkling some crumbled feta on top and that added a beautiful contrast to the other components and the goats cheese would have been fantastic. Next time…. The photos don’t show the feta as I added that after taking my snaps and didn’t want to put off eating to get a few more.
The recipe is here:
I used the following ingredients to make this for one.
- 125g of chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
- ½ tbs of olive oil
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- ¼ brown onion, chopped finely
- ¼ tsp of minced ginger
- ½ tsp of minced garlic
- ¼ red pepper (red capsicum)
- 1 carrot, chopped finely
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- ½ a chipotle chile in adobo, minced
- ½ cup of chicken stock
- ½ cup of canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- ½ a lemon, zest and juice
- 1 tbs of cilantro (coriander)
- 20g of low fat feta
I followed the recipe pretty much as given, but as I mentioned above, I skipped the couscous. I would definitely recommend crumbling cheese on top. The cooking time was about right but as is normal for me the prep took about 20 minutes. I am obviously not very efficient. It is not one of my all-time favourite dishes but it is pretty good for a dish that has carrot – one of my least favourite dishes. I can definitely see me making it again with the goats cheese. Without the couscous, it really is a one-pot dish.
One of the things I liked about this recipe is that it reminds you to mix the spices at the beginning. I like getting everything ready before I cook but for a recipe with this number of ingredients, I would have thought measuring out all the individual spices in to separate containers would have created a mound of washing up. So I would have just sprinkled as I cooked. But I am not very fast at sprinkling and tend to get flustered so this mixing beforehand was a great reminder to look at other recipes to see where I can do this – even if the recipe doesn’t prompt me to.
I used canned chickpeas but dry ones (that you would need to soak overnight) would keep longer and are easier to portion out for one. There are a couple of other ingredients that result in wastage for the single cook – the red pepper which is known as a capsicum in Australia and the half a lemon.
One of the dilemmas I had was what to do with the remaining chipotle chile. Even if you aren’t a single, there are way too many chiles in a can for anyone to use them quickly unless they were on a serious chipotle chile kick. I should have known that there would be solutions on the internet. I went with the option to blend the chiles up and freeze them in ice cubes of about ½ tablespoon which looked like about the equivalent of half a chili. Other people seem to just blend and then freeze the block and shave bits off. There are plenty of suggestions here: