The woodsy, earthy scent of turmeric pulls us in every single time. Not only does it give a golden hue to everything it touches (including fingers and countertops!), it turns the most simple of ingredients into something exotic.
This chicken recipe from Louisa Shafia's new book, The New Persian Kitchen, is a great example. Dark-meat chicken is sprinkled with turmeric, salt and pepper, sautéed until nicely browned, and then covered and left to simmer into tenderness over low heat.
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 bone-in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3/4 cup water
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 juicy limes, halved
Sumac, for garnish|
In a small bowl, mix the turmeric with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with the spice mixture, turning to coat both sides.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Brown the chicken well on both sides, about 7 minutes per side. Pour in the water, then add the garlic, stirring it into the water. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and cover. Braise the chicken for 25 minutes, until the inside is opaque. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, turn up the heat to high, and reduce the cooking liquid for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until it's slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and pour the sauce over the chicken.
Dust the chicken with sumac and pepper, garnish with lime halves, and serve. Vegetarian Option
Use whole portobello mushrooms in place of the chicken, or use 1 pound firm tofu, well drained and cut into slabs 1 inch thick. You will need a little extra oil for searing than what is called for in the recipe. Reprinted with permission from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Originally posted on the Splendid Table's website.