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Monday, September 20, 2010

Tahini Chicken

Today we’re cooking with weird foods! So chicken isn’t so weird, but everything else is a little unusual. Growing up we didn’t eat strange foods. Common dinners included tuna noodle casserole, Stouffers lasagnas, spaghetti with red sauce. Very traditional American dinners. I can’t complain, it tasted good, I was well fed, happy childhood dinners.

Looks like a tree branch
It wasn’t until later moving to the Midwest, that I discovered the world of cooking. It sounds strange to say that it took moving to the middle of America to broaden my flavor horizons. Walking down State Street in Madison, you have so many choices for pleasing your palette. In the mood for spice? Try Indian or Mexican. How about a trip to the Mediterranean? Greek gyros or Italian pastas to satisfy. Why not try something totally different? Stop at the Ethiopian or Laotian restaurant.

Tahi-what now?
It took a few years, but my cooking eventually changed into a more international smorgasbord. Starting slowly by dabbling in Mexican dishes, making tacos and chilis. Eventually I bought curry powders and coconut milk. Then it came to the most unusual ingredients. You know what I’m talking about. Those items you see on the grocery store shelf and wonder what they are for. Strange and weird looking produce, canned goods with crazy names and spices with overpowering smells.

So today we tackle some of those weird items. Fresh Ginger and tahini. I was always apprehensive to buy fresh ginger, because I assumed it was expensive. In reality, for the amount that you need, it will probably cost you fifty cents. It is also a little crazy looking. Fear not! All you need to do to use ginger is peel it. Using a soup spoon, peel off the top layer of the ginger, exposing the white root. For the recipe today, simply grate the ginger with a box grater.

Ignore the fact that there are no vegetables, I forgot to buy them...

Tahini is also a little unusual. It is most often used in hummus. Quite simply, tahini is to sesame seeds as peanut butter is to peanuts. A nutty, rich paste that gives this dish excellent flavor. If you have leftover chicken, this dish will take you minutes to put together. Boil up some rice (in your new rice cooker, if you live at my house!) and feed those hungry people asking you “what’s for dinner?” Introduce your kids to these weird ingredients now, and they’ll be cooking you dinner in no time at all.

Meet the new member of the family.  I love it unconditionally.

Tahini Chicken

¾ cup chicken stock
¼ cup tahini
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp hot sauce
1 lb cooked chicken, cubed

In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, whisking until smooth. Add chicken and return to heat. Cook over medium for 5 minutes. Serve over rice, food for 4!
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1 comment:

  1. This looks so flavorful, and quick! I love my slow-cooker too. Very much, in fact!


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