Sunday, January 27, 2013

Moroccan Chicken

Few weeks ago while flipping through the pages of an old Saveur Magazine recipe for Moroccan Chicken caught my eye. It is surprising how beautiful this dish looks given that you don't need more than an hour to prepare it. Oh, and yes, it is delicious. Harissa is a nice mixture of spicies that packs some heat. Orange sauce and bitter dandelion greens work well with it.

I modified the original recipe to my preferences. I chose to serve it with couscous instead of a carrot puree and did not use all the harissa they recommended. Here is how I made it.


2 chicken breasts and 2 chicken leg quarters with skin
4 oranges
2 tangerines
2 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of harrisa (bought at Market Spice in Pike Place Market)
2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of dandelion greens
10 dry-cured black olives, chopped in half
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400F. I bought a whole chicken and then cut it up myself into needed pieces. The recipe asks for boneless chicken breasts with skin on. I decided to use both chicken breasts and leg quarters. I pounded chicken breasts on both sides but did not do anything to the legs. Following the recipe I salted and peppered chicken and drizzled it with olive oil.

2. I squeezed juice of 2 oranges and 2 tangerines. I cut orange segments from the other 2 oranges. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat I cooked orange-tangerine juice until it reduced by half. This took about 8 minutes. Next I whisked in butter into the orange juice, added orange segments, salt and pepper (to taste) and set the sauce aside.

3. I decided to cook my chicken on a grill. I grilled it first skin side down for about 8 minutes and then flipped it and grilled another 2 minutes. It did get very brown and crispy. And kitchen saw some smoke!

4. I transferred chicken skin side up onto a baking sheet (did not grease it) and brushed it with 4 tablespoons of harissa. I cooked chicken breasts for 13 minutes and leg quarters for another 8 minutes (21 minutes total).

5. While chicken was baking in the oven I made the salad. In a small bowl I mixed together 2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar, 2 teaspoons of harissa and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I added dressing to a bowl of dandelion greens, olives and shallots and tossed.

6. Once chicken is cooked it was time to serve it with a salad and some couscous. We ate legs the next day for lunch. This dish was very flavorful and easy to make.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Baby Weight gone

This is a follow up to my previous post on the baby weight loss. My child is one. The goal of losing the Baby Weight in a one-year period is accomplished. I reached my goal back in September and have been able to maintain it. I am also stronger and have reached the lean zone on the body fat scale. I have also been able to breastfeed my child for year and have started the weaning process.

The talk is cheap - the pictures can tell a thousand words. So, here are few of me as I was on a road to losing the baby weight. Hopefully, my story can help you in your baby weight loss. There is no secret as I said before: it is all about the diet and exercise plus a great support group.

2 Months after Birth. Started on the baby weight loss program shortly after this picture was taken.

3.5 Months after Birth.

5.5 Months after Birth.

6.5 Months after Birth.

9 Months after Birth. Baby Weight gone.

Chicken Breast in Panko Bread Crumbs

This is a recipe I have been using for years - chicken breast pan fried in panko bread crumbs. It makes for great lunches. Here is how I make it.


2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
panko bread crumbs
Olive Oil for cooking


Slice each chicken breast in half and then again in half lengthwise. Pound each slice on both sides and salt to taste. Dip each piece into egg and then into bread crumbs making sure each chicken piece is covered with the bread crumbs. On medium heat fry chicken on both sides until golden brown. If needed do this in two batches. Then put all chicken into a pan, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and let chicken cook for 10 minutes. Check once in a while so that chicken is not burning. Serve with a salad and/or other sides like potatoes, rice or steamed veggies.