Tag Archives: Mediterranean

Arabic-Style Belly Dancing Chicken

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As mentioned in the “About” section of my blog, I am of Middle Eastern descent on my mother’s side. I enjoy the richness and the intense flavors of their cuisine. I love experimenting with food in my kitchen. Recently, I created this dish, made with Middle Eastern couscous, chicken thighs and some aromatic spices indigenous to the region. It is so delectable, it makes me want to do the belly dancing. Put on your apron, grab a glass of wine (if you drink) and follow me in Gina’s kitchen.

Serves: 6-8 as a main meal – Level of difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
12 chicken thighs skinless, bone-in
Olive oil – Follow recipe
2 tbsp. sumac + more
2 tsp. 7 spices *
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1 small red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups Middle Eastern couscous
32 oz. lower sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chickpeas, drained
1/2 red bell pepper cut in julienne
Flat leave parsley for garnish
16 oz. Greek 2% yogurt, sumac, olive oil to taste

Preparation:

1) Season the chicken with 3 tbsp. olive oil, sumac, 7 spices, salt and black pepper.  Let it marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

2) In a large Dutch pan, on medium-high to high heat,  cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil.  Sear the chicken,3 minutes on each side.  Be careful, as there will be some splattering.  Set aside. Do a second batch, and repeat. Set aside.
3) In the same pan, saute’ the onions for 2 minutes, garlic, 1 minute, add the tomato paste and stir until it caramelizes, another 2 minutes or so. Stir well.
4) Add the couscous, continue stirring for 1-2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth.  Layer all the chicken thighs on top, add chickpeas, bell peppers.
5) Bring to a boil. Lower the flame to med-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. It should come out nice and moist.  Garnish with parsley.
6) in a serving bowl, place the yogurt, sprinkle with sumac and olive oil to taste. Serve with the meal.

Arabic-Style Belly Dancing Chicken
Arabic-Style Belly Dancing Chicken

 

7 Spices
7 Spices
Couscous
Couscous

 

Greek yogurt, Sumac, olive oil
Greek yogurt, Sumac, olive oil

Cook’s notes:
1) The 7Spices contain, coriander, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and other spices as indicated on label.
2) The sumac and 7Spices can be found at Middle-Eastern/Arabic specialty stores.

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe, and will attempt to make this delightful dish.

Recipe developed and created by: Foodiewinelover
Photos taken by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover

Gina Zarcadoolas
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
WSET-Level 2 Certified Wine Connoisseur
Culinary Aficionado & Lover of Global Cuisines

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A Taste Of Beautiful Barcelona

Spain is a beautiful country rich in history, with stunning architecture, and known for its cultures, and delicious cuisine. They are famous for The Running Of The Bulls, which is held every year. It is a Spanish tradition that started in Northeastern Spain, in the 14th century.  Spanish love their soccer, and are world-renowned. They won the World Cup in 2010, and defeated the Netherlands. Gastronomy, and great wines are also a major part of their cultures.

Follow me for A Taste Of Beautiful Barcelona!

In 2011, my family and I embarked on an amazing Mediterranean cruise, and we visited many beautiful cities in Europe. One of the port of calls, was the magical city of Barcelona.  We spent an entire afternoon frolicking the famous, and happening area of Las Ramblas.  The streets were filled with creative artists,  mimes, vendors, restaurants, and thousands of tourists.  We ate delicious Spanish tapas, drank beer and sangria,  and visited lots of souvenir shops. We enjoyed a beautiful stroll in this vibrant and fun city, and had a grand time.

 

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Taking pictures and having a good time….

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A family that travels together stays together

 

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Beautiful artwork

 

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More artwork
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The big boys in front of Christopher Columbus statue in Barcelona

 

 

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Roaming the streets of Barcelona
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posing with a mime

 

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La Boqueria, famous market

La Boqueria is probably one of the most famous markets in Europe. You will find a vast selection of  cured meats, and scrumptious cheeses. The Serrano ham, and Manchego cheese  are delicacies in Spain, and can be found all over the place.

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Sangria

Sangria is a must have, when visiting Spain

 

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Tapas

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Later in the afternoon,  we went back to the cruise ship to get ready for nighttime. On the schedule, there were two activities, either watch a spectacular performance by Flamenco dancers,  or have some free time, and eat Paella al fresco (in the outdoors).  Although, we were torn between the two fantastic choices, the foodie in us  could not resist the idea of eating this traditional and delectable Spanish dish.

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The Paella was delicious and the entire experience was surreal. Sadly, one day was simply not enough to visit this enchanting city, but the good thing about it, we can always go back.

In closing, I would like to share with you this famous quote by Charlie Trotter:  ” All four elements were happening in equal measure  – the cuisine, the wine, the service, and the overall ambiance. It taught me that dining could happen at a spiritual level.”

I hope you have enjoyed my wonderful trip to Barcelona.  Stay tuned for more exciting blogs on My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles.

Buenos Dias! Have a great day!

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Tree-lined and animated street of Las Ramblas district (stock photo)