Buttermilk Roast Chicken and Curried Quinoa with Coriander and Cashews

by Kelly on June 17, 2010

Of course I picked the warmest day of the year to roast chicken. But what could I do? The chicken had been marinating overnight and the only other dinner option involved a takeout menu. Happily, the chicken was worth the effort of hauling a fan up from the basement. I love make-ahead recipes and this is one of the best. Savory and succulent, the chicken went from fridge to plate in about 30 minutes.

The curried quinoa is one of many quinoa recipes that Kristin has kindly sent me. She jokingly labels them as my “friendly daily quinoa recipe” and occasionally questions whether I still want to be bombarded with them. And the answer is always yes! So far, they’ve all received rave reviews from my eager test subjects. Sam has become almost as big a fan of the grain as Reuben, and I can’t get enough of it either. A plate of quinoa is as satisfying as a bowl of pasta but without the usual sedating effects of processed (white) carbohydrates. I also prefer it to whole wheat pasta or brown rice, which can be a bit too hearty for my tastes. This version would work nicely with raita and naan for a light vegetarian dinner.

Buttermilk Roast Chicken
adapted from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson

Serves 6

3 lb (1.4 kg) chicken drumsticks and/or thighs
2 cups (480 ml) buttermilk
1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed with the back of a large knife, skins removed
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (coarse grind recommended)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Place the chicken in a large freezer bag and add the buttermilk and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of oil. Add the garlic cloves to the bag with the  salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the ground cumin and finally add the maple syrup. Squish around everything in the freezer bag  to mix the marinade and coat the chicken. Seal the bag, then place on top of a plate or other container (in case of leaks) in the fridge. Leave the buttermilk-marinated chicken in the fridge ideally overnight or out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Take the chicken pieces out of the bag and shake off the excess marinade. Arrange them in a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil.

Drizzle the 2 remaining tablespoons of oil over the chicken,  then roast the chicken in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until brown, even scorched in parts, and juicily cooked through.

***

Naomi Rose’s Curried Quinoa with Coriander and Cashews
adapted from The Irish Independent (by Aoife at Adventures in Veg), April 17, 2010

Serves 4 as side dish, 2 as main course

1 cup (170 g) quinoa
1 tablespoon sunflower or canola oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (420 ml) water
1 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
3/4 cup (120 g) frozen peas
a few handfuls of cashews

Rinse the quinoa well, drain, then set aside. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the ginger and spices and cook for another minute or so. Stir in the salt and quinoa.

After a few minutes, add the water and half of the fresh coriander. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Add the peas (you might need to pour in a tiny bit more water) and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are cooked. Add the rest of the coriander and the cashews just before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If using unsalted cashews, you will likely need to add at least 1/2 teaspoon salt.

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