Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Chicken with Garlic-Sumac Yogurt Sauce, January 5, 2015

When I was visiting my bestie in Pittsburgh, we stopped in a Penzey's store. I picked up a few different things. Culinary grade lavender, vanilla beans, some grilling spices for the wifey, and a little jar of sumac, which I knew was required for a proper fattoush salad and which I assumed I would find some use for in the future. In addition to fattoush, and probably hundreds of other things I haven't yet discovered, it turns out to make for a tasty yogurt sauce. The original recipe comes from Bon Appetit, but I altered it to be a little less oily and a little more garlicky. I used this on chicken, but I suspect it would be great on veggies, fish, baked potatoes, baked tofu, and any number of other things. It would make a stellar dip for veggies, Turkish-style bread, pita, or crackers. We put it on our pilaf, too. My vegetarian mom is trying it today on beans. Vegans could sub soy yogurt. With the chicken, I served pilaf (Near East Original, although I personally really love their lentil pilaf), a butter lettuce salad with some goat cheese crumbles, apricots, and pepitas, and baked acorn squash with pineapple. Oh, and with the salad, Maple Grove Farm's fabulous strawberry balsamic vinaigrette, my very favorite salad dressing.

Chicken with Garlic-Sumac Yogurt Sauce
Enough chicken breasts (skinless, boneless) for the number of people you have eating (or cook extra and put the rest on salad or in a wrap the next day)
Cooking spray or a little olive oil or wine or broth
Salt & pepper
6-8 oz. Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0% fat---I also really love Greek Gods brand) per 3-4 people
A dash of olive oil (this can be omitted, as well)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground sumac (also available at Middle Eastern groceries; I've seen it at the local Whole Foods, as well)

Season chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano to your liking. Sauté in a pan sprayed with cooking spray (or in a smidgy bit of olive oil or poach in wine or broth) until cooked through. While the chicken's cooking, whisk the other ingredients together, adding a little salt and pepper to the sauce, as well. Serve chicken with sauce. 

Baked Acorn Squash with Pineapple
1 acorn squash, halved & seeded
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
A sprinkle of salt
A grinding of pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash in a small baking dish. Mix the other ingredients together and bring to a boil. Simmer until it gets syrupy, about 5 minutes. Scoop into squash halves, making sure to drizzle some over the cut sides of the squash. Bake an hour to 75 minutes. Serves 2-4. You can, of course, just use the pineapple, if you are concerned about the butter and sugar. It would add a delicious flavor all by itself. 

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