Friday, March 17, 2006

Wine-Poached Chicken with Charmoula

This recipe comes almost straight from Martha Stewart's "Healthy Quick Cook", a nice little cookbook featuring light, simple menus divided by season. I use it mostly for inspiration, but some of the recipes are wonderful. I actually managed to only make a few changes to this recipe, in fact. The sauce is very lively, and while Stewart (or whoever did the actual writing) classifies it as Moroccan, Chris and I agreed that it would be fantastic with Mexican dishes as well. Must be the cumin, cilantro, and tomato juice. Start to finish, this meal took about 20 minutes to make, so it's a great dinner for busy times.

I have never poached chicken before, and to tell the truth I was skeptical. I mean, just look at it, stark white and as bland-looking as can be. However, with this dish, it made sense. It was lightly flavored, moist, and served as a perfect backdrop to the piquant sauce. So, don't be scared when you are faced with these flabby-looking slabs of poultry, it's really quite good.

Wine-Poached Chicken with Charmoula
serves 2

for the charmoula sauce:

1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
.5 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
.25 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsely
.25 cup tomato juice (more to thin)
.25 cup chopped fresh cilantro
.5 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Add more tomato juice, if necessary, to reach a sauce-like consistency. Set aside to let flavors meld.

for the wine-poached chicken:

1 cup dry white wine
.5 cup chicken stock
5 sprigs flat-leaf parsely
8 whole peppercorns
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

In a heavy sauce pan big enough to hold the chicken in one layer, combine the wine, stock, parsely, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a lively simmer. Add the chicken and poach, turning once, for 15-17 minutes. Season to tast with salt and pepper. Remove to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

To serve, slice the chicken into 4 slices and pour Charmoula over the top. Delicious alongside Toasted Israeli Couscous and a chopped green salad. Enjoy!


Erin Eats said...

Poached chicken is so easy, and it stores great in the fridge - so if you're wanting to have chicken salads throughout the week, you can poach a bunch and slice it and throw it in the fridge for several days.

This looks delicious!

Kevin said...


That does look good -- and you can't have too many chicken recipes. I tried poaching duck breasts once and they ended up tough, I never did figure out why.

At any rate, CookieCrumb just pointed me to your blog, welcome to food blogging in Knoxville!

Marianne said...

Why thanks, Kevin and Erin! The chicken was marvelous. Duck is so good when it's on the rare side, so maybe poaching just overcooked it a bit? Now I'm craving duck.
Anyway, thanks for the welcome!

MM said...

Yeah, poaching does not work well with duck usually unless you are poaching it in wine. Mrs C, sorry to hear about the problems with that recipe365 person. Glad you informed the rest of us of that. And the chicken dish looks majorly tempting.

Marianne said...

Mona, I think he's harmless, but I'm really picky about people using my images.

However, the chicken is great! You should give it a try.

PSGifford said...

Trying this tonnight. Looks good and easy.

PS Gifford