The Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

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The Mediterranean is one of the most beautiful regions in the world, with a diverse mix of cultures and ancient traditions. It’s also home to some truly incredible food — everything from hummus to taktouka!

We’re diving headfirst into this fabulous region with a recipe for grilled chicken seasoned in herbs and spices. The word taktouka describes a Greek fritter made of chickpea flour, typically served as an appetizer or side dish. In Italy, it’s known as the ‘cavatelli alla giudia,’ which translates to ‘condiments for judges.’ This version of taktouka is one that I adapted for use with poultry, as a great alternative to fried chicken!

Taktouka marinates and bakes in the oven until dry and crispy. It’s mildly spiced with red pepper flakes and flecked with herbs. In the final stage, it fries in hot oil until golden brown on all sides. It’s the perfect companion to grilled meats or fish, and it goes great as a snack if you’re looking for something savory and salty to munch on.

1 – Wipe the chicken

If your chicken has been in your fridge for a few days, throw out the accumulated water and pat the chicken dry by patting it inside and out with paper towels.

2 – Stuff the chicken

To stuff a chicken, check that it has been emptied of its giblets and prepare the stuffing in a bowl: it must contain ingredients such as butter, oil, chopped herbs, pieces of raw fruit, cottage cheese. , etc. You can also add butcher’s stuffing: sausage meat, minced meat, etc.

3 – Baste the chicken regularly with its juice

To make roast chicken a success, you need to sprinkle it with its cooking juices every 15 minutes. Before putting it in the oven, pour ½ glass of water or broth into the chicken baking dish.

4 – Cook the chicken in a casserole dish

To prevent the chicken from drying out during cooking, cook it in a closed casserole dish and put it in the oven.

To obtain a crispy skin, you can open the casserole dish for 15 minutes at the end of cooking and place the oven in the grill position.

5 – Turn the chicken during cooking

Place the poultry on one side, before turning it 15 minutes later on the other side. Allow another 15 minutes. Then turn the chicken on its back and cook for about 30 minutes, before turning it over on its stomach and continuing cooking for 30 minutes again

The Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

Description

I'm sure you've been seeing this Mediterranean grilled chicken all over your social media feeds lately, and rightfully so — it is so easy to make, and yet it tastes amazing! Some people like to use extra virgin olive oil as well as red pepper flakes if they're feeling spicy. But in my opinion, the recipe's just perfect with a good lemon juice.

Ingredients

Marinade

Instructions

  1. Add all marinade ingredients to a large bowl. Mix well. Add the chicken and onion quarter pieces and toss everything together until well coated with the marinade. Let marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator

  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Grease the baking sheet with oil and set aside.

  3. Unwrap the chicken pieces and pull out as much of the meat as you can, reserving any bones, skin and fat for stock if desired (see notes below). Pat dry on dishes or paper towels and place into a large bowl. Mash the chicken together well so that all sides are evenly incorporated into the paste. Set aside.

  4. Add the onion quarters to a food processor and pulse until the onions are almost pureed. Add the purée to a large bowl and add the garlic, lemon zest and black pepper. Mix well using a spatula or your hands until well incorporated and mushy. Set aside.

  5. Add the tahini, molasses, one cup of chickpea flour and one cup of all-purpose flour to a large bowl. Mix well until everything is well incorporated and mushy. If you have time, it's better to let the batter sit for at least an hour or two before frying so that the flavors can meld together. You can also let it sit overnight in the refrigerator if you're up for having the taktouka cold for breakfast on day 2!

  6. Once the chicken and onion mixture is ready, add it to the batter bowl and stir gently until everything is well incorporated. Set aside.

  7. Heat oil over medium heat in a large deep sauté pan or skillet. Bake chicken pieces in batches for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside on a tray or plate lined with paper towels while you fry the taktouka batter.

  8. Add about 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil to the batter bowl. Stir from time to time as you stir in more and more of the batter (if you use too little, it will be difficult to get the batter to come together into patties). Continue until all of the batter is used up and it is a thick paste. You might need a bit more salt or sugar at this point if your taktouka batter tastes too bland; add them now.

  9. Heat an inch or two of oil over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Once the oil is hot, use a spoon to scoop up some batter. Use another spoon or spatula to move the batter around and form it into a pattie about 4-5 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. If you're not sure if your batter is ready, drop a small piece into the oil. If it floats right away, then it's ready; if not, continue to work it until it floats.

  10. Fry the taktouka in batches of 2 at a time until all are fried. They won't take long, just a few minutes each batch, so don't over crowd your pan or they'll burn before they're done!

Note

Taktouka is most commonly made with chickpea flour, but the recipe can easily be adapted to use other types of flour, such as all-purpose or whole wheat. I made this taktouka using chickpea flour to keep things simple. If you use a different variety of flour, make sure that it's not too finely ground and try not to overwork it in any way. Also, be sure to use a thermometer when baking so that you don't burn the taktouka.

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