I, like everyone else in North America right now, am a bit obsessed with Yottem Ottolenghi. My copy of “Jerusalem” is littered with so many post-it notes that it resembles something from “A Beautiful Mind”. I have turned to Yottem on many a special occasion and my sister’s birthday was no exception. After mixing and matching dishes from “Jerusalem” and “Plenty”, his vegetarian offering, I had it sorted. We would celebrate with a menu of Braised Quail with Dried Apricots, Steamed Rice with Herbs, and Roasted Beet And Fennel Salad.
The first time I make a dish, I normally follow the recipe religiously. However, when I caught myself pondering whether or not the spices would be better toasted, I knew I was going rogue.
Braised Chicken with Dried Apricots and Figs
(adapted from “Jerusalem”)
- 2 Corish Game Hens, butterflied and halved down the breast bone. You can just as easily use a chicken, quartered.
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1.5 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- 1.5 tsp dried chile flakes
- 0.5 tsp coarse salt
- healthy dose of ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 c dried apricots, sliced
- 1/2 c dried figs, sliced
- 1/8 c raisins
- 1.5 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp tamarind paste
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 c white wine
- 1 c water
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish