Mediterranean dishes are known for their amazing heart-health qualities with their healthy oils and bright-coloured vegetables. This dish is no exception with its inclusion of pomegranates. When in season, pomegranates are widely available. Typically, kisir, a traditional Turkish side dish, is made with bulgur. We’ve adapted it using millet, a healthy gluten-free alternative.
Wines are always personal. No one has the same taste buds. While some might lean toward whites, others glom onto reds. This dish deserves something light and fruity—either red or white. So look for a Gamay or a Rosé. Even a Pinot Grigio works well with this dish.
Pomegranate molasses or syrup can be found in specialty food shops or Middle Eastern grocery stores. To make your own, boil pomegranate juice until thickened. Refrigerate for up to 1 month. Use tablespoonfuls to flavour a myriad of dishes.
To make chicken, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
In small bowl, combine sumac, cardamom, and salt. Stir to blend. Divide equally among chicken thighs, massaging seasoning under skin with your fingers.
Heat 10 in (25 cm) ovenproof or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add ghee or butter and heat till it almost begins to smoke. Add chicken thighs, skin side down, allowing for space in between each. Fry until skin becomes a rich golden colour, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken and sear underside just until lightly browned. Remove to dish.
Whisk stock, pomegranate molasses, and maple syrup in skillet. Boil vigorously, with lid ajar, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet along with any juices that may have collected. Tuck thyme sprigs around chicken and sprinkle with red chilies.
Bake, uncovered, in oven for 35 minutes or until meat registers 165 F (75 C) when tested with a meat thermometer in thickest portion of meat. Remove from oven when done.
Meanwhile, in dry saucepan over medium heat, toast rice or millet just until grains are pale golden and they begin to smell aromatic, about 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in boiling water and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; keep covered and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
While rice or millet cooks, whisk oil, pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, and salt in small bowl. Set aside. Combine tomatoes and their juice, cucumber, and yellow pepper in large bowl and set aside.
When rice or millet is cooked and has finished resting, stir in oil mixture to evenly coat. Transfer to bowl with tomatoes and gently fold in.
To serve, place a generous ladle of kisir into each of 4 serving bowls. Rest a chicken thigh on top. Drizzle with some pan juices and scatter with pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds, and chopped herbs. Add black pepper to taste.
This recipe is part of the Give a Little Love collection.
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.