Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weeknight Chicken with Flatbreads

I'm going to turn again to the topic of the quick weeknight dinner, but honestly, I find myself thinking about that subject a lot. Like pretty much every weeknight. The newest addition to our repertoire came about because of happy convergence of recipes and ingredients. 

Convergence #1: I discovered pomegranate molasses. Earlier this fall, I enjoyed two different dishes that included this magical ingredient. So I promptly bought some, without exactly knowing how I'd use it. It has a delightful sweet-tartness and is used to flavor to meats, dips and veggies.  My son would drink it straight up if I let him. 

Convergence #2: A friend visited recently, and as we flipped through Plenty, one of my favorite cookbooks, she pointed to a flatbread recipe and asked for a copy. After she left I thought: why aren't I making that? The recipe couldn't be easier, and the result is a fresh and delicious  ⎯  a true "quick" bread.  

Convergence #3: I bought myself a cast iron grill pan. I'm not going to digress and wax about cast iron again, but I'll find any excuse to use my new toy.  

A few weeks ago, I found myself staring at a few chicken breasts lingering in the fridge and wondering, once again, what's for dinner. And suddenly, all of these things came together into one really delicious meal without advance planning. Here's what I did: I made the flatbread dough. In the time it rested, I chopped cilantro, made the yogurt sauce, and sautéed the chicken (seriously). I took the chicken off the stove and poured some pomegranate molasses over it, and declared it done. Then, with kid help, we rolled and grilled the flatbreads. I put out a salad of torn greens, and, in about 40 minutes, dinner was served. It did help that I always have yogurt and cilantro around, since they both get heavy play in this meal.  Since then, we've made this exact meal two times. My family can't get enough of it. 

adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi
makes 8 breads

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1 c. Greek yogurt
1/4-1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. chopped cilantro (optional)
Vegetable oil for brushing the breads

In a bowl, mix together the flours, salt and baking powder until blended. Add the yogurt and mix, then add 1/4 c. of milk. Mix together, and add more milk if needed to make a thick dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and knead briefly until it forms a coherent ball. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour.

When ready to cook the breads, cut the dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece out on a floured surface until about 1/8-inch thick. If using cilantro, scatter approximately 1 T. of cilantro around each piece, fold in half, and roll out again.

Heat a grill or sauté pan on medium high heat. Brush the pan with oil, then brush one side of the dough with oil. Place dough in the pan, oil side down, and brush the top side with oil. Cook until bubbles form on top and the bottom is golden, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook other side until golden. Repeat with remaining dough. 

Fast Yogurt Sauce

1 c. Greek yogurt
1/4-1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, or diced cucumber (optional)
Kosher salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. 

Pomegranate Molasses Chicken
serves 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
1 T. olive oil
2 T. pomegranate molasses
1/4 c. toasted walnuts (optional)
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Cut chicken into 2-inch chunks and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on high heat. Add chicken and cook, moving frequently, until slightly browned on the outside and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl. Add pomegranate molasses and stir.

If using walnuts, add walnuts to the same pan and cook on medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. To serve, place a flatbread on a plate with a few pieces of chicken. Add yogurt sauce, chopped cilantro, and toasted walnuts on top. 

No comments:

Post a Comment