Western Living Magazine
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Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Chicken Night just got interesting: bold tandoori seasoning, parchment-paper parcels and next-level schnitzel take the weeknight staple from plain-Jane protein to dinner-party power player.
Cooking en papillote is a technique in which food is wrapped in a parchment or foil parcel and baked. A star ingredient in this recipe is za’atar, a fragrant Middle Eastern spice blend generally consisting of thyme, sesame seeds and sumac.
Any extra za’atar is perfect for seasoning everything from vegetables to seafood to dips. For guaranteed oohs and aahs let diners cut open the parcels themselves, as half the fun is revealing the beautifully cooked contents at the table. (Tie them off with twine for added rustic charm.)
Take your roast chicken to another level with this recipe. If you have the time, allow the spice paste to marinate the chicken for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours. However, this family favourite roast is still delicious if cooked up right away. Flattening or spatchcocking a chicken is an easy technique to master and cuts the cooking time, which means dinner can hit the table faster. Great additions for rounding out the meal include roasted vegetables and some warm naan.
This dish perfectly illustrates how two different recipes can deliciously be more than the sum of their parts. While the sticky peanut chicken wings and fresh noodle salad are good separately, serving them together makes for a wonderfully tasty experience. If you can, try to source whole chicken wings. This will maximize the amount of savoury, peanuty glaze and crispy chicken skin that ends up on your plate.
A homemade spice rub is a wonderful way to jazz up a simple chicken breast. In this cross cultural mash-up we use dukkah, an Egyptian nut and spice blend. You might be able to source it in gourmet grocery stores, but it’s just as easy to make at home.
Plus, you can customize it using different nuts (pistachios work well) or spices (fennel seeds and hot pepper flakes are great additions) as you like. Extra dukkah is delicious as a dip. Simply dip bread or vegetables in some extra-virgin olive oil or yogurt before rolling in dukkah and enjoying.