Peri-Peri Fries with Greek Lemon Oregano Grilled Chicken

On Friday's in South Africa, my sisters and I would stand in line at a very popular braai spot waiting on flame grilled chicken and seasoned slap chips (a version of fries). We watched as cooks flipped grill baskets filled with perfectly seasoned Greek-style chicken over an open flame, basting with marinade as they went along. The word braai is Afrikaans for "barbecue" or "roast" and is a social custom in South Africa. We celebrate National Braai Day every September 24th and come together as a diverse nation to enjoy cooking over an open fire with friends and family. 

The restaurant that I'm referring to was less of a sit-down establishment and more of a hole in the wall located on a bustling street corner close to public transportation. This made it an ideal place to pick up some takeaway (street food) for dinner after work. Why on a Friday? Usually, Friday was pay day which meant people had a little extra to spend. We waited patiently as the hugely popular chicken quarters and flatties (butterflied whole) in styrofoam containers flew from the counter into eager hands of hungry people in line. I remember the smell of oregano distinctly , and this is my version of that street food made in partnership with Pompeian. We love this chicken for Summer grilling with friends!

Pompeian - Street Food 2.JPG

Pompeian has been keeping me stocked with their range of olive oils and vinegars for the last few years, and I love using their robust olive oil for marinades.  To lighten things up for Summer, their organic extra virgin olive oil spray is perfect to spritz over salads like the one accompanying my chicken.  A beautiful light flavor and very handy to have on hand.

Ingredients

Lemon Oregano Chicken:
1/4 cup Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried Greek oregano
Zest and juice and 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
6-8 chicken thighs (or any dark meat)
1 lemon, halved

Peri-peri Fries:
6-8 medium starchy potatoes, scrubbed
Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon peri peri chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Optional to serve: Shredded lettuce, cubed feta, diced tomato, diced cucumber, pickled red onion and lemon wedges.

Method:
Whisk olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic in a shallow dish and add chicken pieces. Use your hands to massage the marinade into the chicken, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. 

Preheat your covered grill to 350F.

Prepare potatoes by slicing them into wedges and adding to a cast iron skillet or baking sheet. Spray with olive oil and add spices. Toss to coat and place on the grill with the chicken and halved lemons. Cook chicken and potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken registers 160F. Remove from heat and place in a bowl, squeeze grilled lemon juices over and cover until ready to serve. 

Serves 6-8

Seasoned Potatoes.JPG

This recipe is sponsored by Pompeian. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Daley Plate. 

Honey Garlic Gochujang Chicken with Cabbage

Gochujang is one of those condiments that will forever have a place in my fridge. I first experienced that earthy spice in 2005 as part of a traditional South Korean dish called "Dalkgalbi" - Chicken and cabbage cooked on a hot plate with rice cake and a fiery mix containing mostly garlic and gochujang.  Since it was during my first year in South Korea, my untrained palate rejected the meal and that in turn offended my hosts. Ever wish you could go back in time and redo a certain event? Ever write a blog post at two in the morning and suddenly recall all the cultural mishaps you've had during the last 10 years? No? Moving on.

 Succulence. 

Succulence. 

Dalkgalbi grew on me and later became my absolute favorite thing to eat during that stint in South Korea. It was the ultimate dinner to enjoy with friends after a night out, soju in hand (a Korean spirit made from rice or sweet potatoes). The combination of chicken, gochujang and garlic with cabbage stuck with me and inspired this healthy recipe. Earthy gochujang, honey and what seems like a ridiculous amount of garlic come together to form a beautifully sweet spicy sauce. In my opnion, white meat cuts like chicken breast pairs very well with punchy sauces to amp up the flavor levels. I usually purchase whole chickens and then prep them myself, using dark meat for things like stew or roasting, and white meat (breasts) for quicker preparations. The trick with white meat is to season it very well and allow it to sit in the fridge uncovered overnight. This method will ensure that the meat is seasoned all the way through, keep it juicy and dry out the skin so that you can achieve that perfect crispy sear.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, skin on
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
6 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon gochujang
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. 

Place chicken on a plate and season on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Place on the lowest shelf in your fridge, uncovered for at least 6 hours. Remove from fridge and bring a skillet up to medium-high heat. Add grapeseed oil and place chicken in pan skin side down first. Do not move the chicken at all for at least 3-5 minutes so that you get a crispy golden skin, after which you will flip it over and cook for an additional 3 minutes, then transfer to an oven-proof dish and into the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.  

While the chicken is in the oven, prepare your sauce by adding the minced garlic to the pan in which the chicken cooked. You should still have some of the pan juices and oil in there, which will provide delicious flavor. Sauté garlic for 1-2 minutes only - You don't want it to soften too much. Add gochujang paste and honey, stirring until combined. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove chicken from oven. Place chicken and any juices right back into the pan with the gochujang sauce, flip to coat and serve with cabbage (Recipe follows)

Basic Sauteéd Cabbage

 Homegrown cabbage - Not by me, by my local organic farmer. 

Homegrown cabbage - Not by me, by my local organic farmer. 

I am super into cabbage, old-fashioned as it may be. Though cabbage really benefits from cooking for longer periods of time, my preferred way to enjoy it is simply sautéed to preserve it's integrity. Use any kind of cabbage or cruciferous vegetable of your choice. 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon neutral oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (cabbage loves black pepper!)
8 cups roughly chopped cabbage
Optional: 1 pinch nutmeg powder (brings out the flavor)

Method:

Heat a large pan to medium then add oil, butter, salt and pepper. Swirl to combine and add chopped cabbage. Use tongs to move cabbage around in the pan, coating it with the butter mixture then leave it be. Allow the cabbage at the bottom of the pan to toast a little (golden edges, not dark brown) - This will make all the difference in flavor. Stir, add a splash (2 tablespoons) water, then place a lid on the pan and cook until the toughest parts are less chewy (5 minutes). 

final.JPG

Smoked Sausage Potato Soup

This soup is a spin on the Portuguese Caldo Verde, but with the addition of saffron and smoked paprika instead. The recipe was a happy experiment and one that I've made quite a few times since, even though I have a slight aversion to cooking the same meal twice. The appeal of blistered potatoes in a deeply flavorful broth just can't be denied. 
I use smoked andouille sausage but please feel free to substitute chorizo or any other smoked sausage. Saffron is optional but it gives the potatoes a lovely golden glow and the broth a wonderful aroma. I was fortunate to receive quite a bit from friend recently and well, the rest is history.

Sausage Soup 2.JPG

Ingredients:

2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1lb smoked sausage, sliced (chorizo, andouille etc.)
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2tsp smoked paprika
1tsp red pepper flakes
6 medium potatoes, peeled + diced
8 cups chicken stock
Pinch of saffron (totally optional)
4 cups kale, spinach or collards

Method:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and brown (3-5 minutes). Add onion, garlic, paprika + red pepper to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes until fragrant.

Add potatoes, stock & saffron. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender. Use the back of a fork to smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot - This will thicken the soup & provide a creamier texture.

Add greens and simmer for 5 minutes more then serve.

I like to set some of the browned sausage aside in the beginning and add to the soup afterwards for crispy texture. I do not add extra salt as the stock and sausage is quite salty on their own, but please season to your taste afterwards.
Alternatively, sauté in the Instant Pot then add everything else & cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Don’t skip mashing of some of the potatoes.

Sausage Soup.JPG

Roasted Chicken Thighs & Saucy Rosemary Beans

When I was young but confident enough in my ability to cook, my mother awarded me with the opportunity to prepare supper twice per week. There was a time where we really didn't have much and beans were plentiful. The funny thing is, it didn't feel that way to us. We never felt deprived and through all of that I learned the value of improvisation in cooking. I have many bean recipes and this one is my favorite :) It's a recipe for two people because that's how many there are in my house but you might want to double or triple it. 

chicken.JPG

Ingredients:

2 skin-on chicken thighs
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning OR my favorite chicken spice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed (or 2-3 regular cups freshly cooked, up to you!)
2 cups homemade chicken broth
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar OR fresh lemon juice
6 cups fresh spinach

Method:

Season chicken with cajun seasoning and set aside (best to do this the day before, covering and placing in the fridge overnight for maximum flavor). Preheat oven to 375F. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat then add chicken thighs, skin side down. Sear until skin is crisp, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to oven and roast for 15-20 minutes. 

Meanwhile add olive oil, garlic, celery, onion, celery and green pepper to a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent (5 minutes). Add chopped rosemary, beans, worcestershire sauce and stock. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, add black pepper and red wine vinegar or lemon juice. This will brighten it up with some acidity. Stir and divide between two bowls. Rinse your saucepan and sauté spinach in a little olive oil.

When chicken is done, plate beans and place spinach on top followed by chicken. I love to add some fresh rosemary and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, maybe some lemon zest and season to taste. 

dinner.JPG

Instant Pot Hawaij Spiced Chicken with Zhug

This recipe is sponsored by Pompeian. Their range of extra virgin olive oils and organic vinegars are staples in my kitchen and I am thrilled to bring you this easy weeknight dish in partnership with them.

Yemenite Spiced (Hawaij) Chicken.jpg

I am a big fan of chicken and those of you who follow me on Instagram are probably aware of that but let's face it...sometimes it gets a little how can I say? Boring?
Lately, there has been an influx of amazing products that make it easy to transform a humble bird with the flavors and fragrances of faraway places. Deep, savory Middle Eastern flavors are so popular right now and for good reason. Amazing spices and blends like hawaij, ras el hanout, berbere, sumac and sauces like zhug liven the palate and make people at the table go "Wow!"
I can get behind that. If we are going to eat chicken AGAIN let it be bold in flavor and even better, let it be quick to prepare. If you can prep the bird a day ahead of time and let it soak in that marinade, this recipe will only take about 45 minutes start to finish in your Instant Pot. That includes coming to pressure (5-10 minutes) and releasing pressure naturally (10 minutes). This is a more realistic time than recipes that promise a 15 minute start to finish process. Thankfully you can walk away from an Instant Pot and prepare sides, pour yourself a glass of wine, fold laundry (maybe not) or set the table while you take in the intoxicating aroma of Hawaij Chicken cooking. 

 Hawaij - A Yemenite Spice Blend mostly used for soups and stews, but don't let that limit your experiments! 

Hawaij - A Yemenite Spice Blend mostly used for soups and stews, but don't let that limit your experiments! 

What is Hawaij? A Middle Eastern spice blend that often includes a mix of turmeric, cardamom, black pepper, cumin, coriander and sometimes clove. You can purchase it online or make your own, I'll include an easy basic recipe below that you can customize to suit your taste. I love combining it with Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil, especially when going the non-traditional route of using it as a marinade. Bold flavor needs a stronger oil.

Easy Hawaij Blend:

Spice a dish with love and it pleases every palate.
— Plautus

3 tablespoons ground black pepper
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
3 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons kosher salt

IMG_0108.jpg

Instant Pot Hawaij Spiced Chicken

Ingredients:
1 2.5lb (small) whole chicken OR chicken pieces
1/4 cup Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tablespoons Hawaij spice blend
2 tablespoons kosher salt (fine grain works well)
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Optional to serve:  Parsley, Red Onion & Tomato Salad
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon sumac powder
1 tablespoon Pompeian Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Method:
Combine Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hawaij spice and salt in a small bowl.  With your hands, rub the marinade onto the chicken to season every inch, inside and outside. Ideally, this step should be done a day ahead of time to ensure an evenly seasoned bird. 

Turn the Instant Pot on, making sure that pressure is set to HIGH. Place sliced onion and garlic in the inner pot and cover with stock. Place chicken on top of the onions, breast side up, then close the lid and set the valve to "sealing." Set the timer for 18 minutes. The Instant Pot will come to steam a little and then seal, starting the timer.
Prepare the salad by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator.

Once the timer on your Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally - Do not manually release the pressure valve. When the pressure gauge drops, remove chicken and serve whole or cut into pieces. I like to place the chicken on a baking sheet or tray and crisp it up in a 450F oven set to "broil" for 5-8 minutes.  The gravy created in the Instant Pot while cooking the chicken is delicious poured over the bird, especially when served with rice. 
Sprinkle chicken with toasted almonds and optional salad.

Try it with my version of  Zhug, a Yemenite green hot sauce that delivers another punch thanks to serrano peppers. Find the easy recipe below:

Zhug.jpg