Like this Gorgeous Tunisian Chicken One Dish Dinner
Yes, it takes awhile to cook, but not too much time to put together. The main issue I had with it was sourcing all those traditional herbs and spices + organic chicken. I figure the chicken I paid a premium for might be sort of like the chicken scratching in the dirt of a Tunisian village, but that’s probably wishful thinking.
But I thought turnips were a high glycemic food? Well, it’s complicated. Although turnips rank as a high glycemic food, like most vegetables they have a very low glycemic load score and the glycemic load rather than the glycemic index is the most accurate predictor of your body’s after-meal insulin response. Turnips, like most vegetables, have a glycemic load of just 1 point.
Turnips have several nutritional benefits. They are low in calories and will not raise your blood sugar levels. Turnips have high amounts of potassium and vitamin A as beta-carotene. They also contain very significant amounts of calcium and vitamin K, which encourages healthy and strong bones.
Carrots act in the same way, although they have a few more calories. However, do not that this one dish dinner does not give you an excess of any one thing. You get a delicious mix of protein from the chicken, more nutrients from the vegetables and a kick of minerals and vitamins from the herbs and spices.
A powerhouse of nutrition. Chickpeas are a source of 10 different vitamins. Notably, one cup of cooked chickpeas provides 0.2 mg of thiamin and vitamin B6, two of the B vitamins that help you convert food into energy. They also provide 282 micrograms of folate, essential to red blood cell development and the prevention of certain birth defects. Chickpeas also provide 0.6 mg of vitamin E, 6.6 micrograms of vitamin K, 44 IU of vitamin A, 2 mg of vitamin C, 0.1 mg of riboflavin, 0.9 mg of niacin and 0.5 mg of pantothenic acid.
One cup of chickpeas provides multiple essential minerals, including 80 mg of calcium, 79 mg of magnesium and 276 mg of phosphorus — essential to healthy bones. You also obtain 4.7 mg of iron, 2.5 mg of zinc, 0.6 mg of copper and 1.7 mg of manganese by eating a cup of chickpeas. The chickpeas provide 477 mg of potassium, equivalent to the amount in a small banana. Potassium helps you keep fluids and minerals in balance in your body.
Chickpeas, also known as Garbanzo beans, are a low glycemic food that will not significantly affect your blood glucose levels unless they are commercially prepared with added sugars. Harvard Medical School states that these beans have a glycemic index ranking of 28, plus or minus 6.
Traditional cooking, no matter where it comes from in the world, is often the healthiest. Think of this as a Sunday recipe. Make it. Eat it that night, then put it in the refrigerator for quick pick up meals. Think of it as your own home made fast food.
Anyway, this becomes a low glycemic, one dish dinner. I made it for my own Maplewood Dining Club (we usually have about 6 diners) and had enough left over to eat it out of the pot for days. Yum.
Tunisian Chicken With Spicy Green Sauce
makes 8 to 10 servings
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight (or 3 cups canned chickpeas)
1 onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves, plus 2 small onions, diced, about 2 cups
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
8 chicken thighs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 inch long stick of cinnamon
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound carrots, peeled, in 2-inch batons
1/2 pound small turnips, peeled and cut in wedges
Spicy green sauce for serving
Cooked and buttered couscous
1. Drain the soaked chickpeas, then cover with 8 cups water in a large pot. Add the onion stuck with cloves and the bay leaf, bring to a boil, then gently simmer for 40 to 60 minutes, until tender. Season with salt, leaving the chickpeas in their broth. Chickpeas may be cooked in advance. (If using canned chickpeas, rinse and add salt to taste.)
2. While chickpeas cook, make the spice mixture and cook the chicken. Begin in a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the coriander, cumin and caraway seeds until fragrant. Grind to a coarse powder with a mortar or in a spice mill. Stir in the cayenne.
3. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the spice mixture and rub it into the meat.
4. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in the skillet. Add chicken and brown gently until golden, about 4 minutes a side. Remove chicken to a plate. In the same skillet, add diced onions and a little salt. Let onions soften and color for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, and scraping up any brown bits. Add cinnamon stick and garlic and cook for a minute more.
5. When chickpeas are cooked, set aside until chicken and spices are cooked then add them to the chickpea mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, covered, for about a half hour. Remove chicken pieces. Strip meat from the bones, discarding skin and bones, then replace chicken back to the pot.
6. Add carrots and turnips and cook, covered, for 15 minutes more. Let rest 5 minutes and skim excess fat. Serve with broth, spicy green sauce and buttered couscous.
To make the spicy green sauce:
Combine 6 garlic cloves, crushed, with 1 cup minced cilantro leaves and stems, a shot of red pepper flakes (to taste), and the juice and zest of a lime. Finish with a shot of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Place in a small bowl and pass at the table.
Cook couscous following package directions. Fluff with a fork.