Seared Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken
House Dried Fruit, Bulgur, Catalina Farm Vegetable Couscous
Salted Lemon Vinaigrette, Fez Spice Mix Paint
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy in partnership with Terranea Resort and Whole Foods Market recently hosted their annual Palos Verdes Pastoral Garden-to-Table Dining Experience. This year’s super-successful event highlighted foods and flavors native to Mediterranean Climate Regions.
Terranea Resort Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra showcased the best of California handcrafted, organic, and sustainable food and wine unique to our California climate, 1 of only 5 Mediterranean Climate Regions in the world.
These include the Mediterranean Basin, California, Central Chile, Western South Africa, and South and Western Australia. While comprising only 2% of the earth’s surface, these regions are home to 20% of the earth’s plant species.
Chef Bernard takes advantage of this biodiversity in his menu. The Chicken Course alone featured Mediterranean herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables including chili, cumin, coriander, fennel, paprika, honey, olive oil, lemon, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, bulgur, couscous, parsley, almonds, apricots, mustard, saffron, squash, and, of course wine.
The Chef graciously shares his recipe for Seared Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken below.
See the entire menu and read about the fabulous 2017 Palos Verdes Pastoral Dining Experience and the important work of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy here.
Moroccan Spiced Free Range Chicken Recipe
by Chef Bernard Ibarra
Recipe Yield 4 Portions
For the Fez Spice Paint:
10 Each Dry ancho chile pods, seeded
1 TSP Cumin seeds, toasted and grounded
1 TBSP Smoked Spanish paprika (Pimenton)
1 TSP Coriander Seeds, toasted and grounded
½ TSP Fennel seeds, toasted and grounded
1 Cup Local/organic Honey
1 QT Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Salted Lemon Vinaigrette:
3 Ea. Preserved Meyer or regular Lemon
¼ Cup Champagne Vinegar
½ Cup local/organic honey
4 Sprigs Italian parsley, chopped
¼ Cup Dijon Mustard
For the Chicken:
¼ Sea salt or Kosher Salt
½ Gallon of water
4 Thyme sprig
2 Rosemary sprig
10 Garlic clove crushed
4 each x 8 oz. skin-on free range chicken breast
2 Meyer lemon halves, juice squeezed and reserved
½ Cup smoked paprika, lightly toasted in a dry sauté pan
2 TBSP turmeric, ground
¼ Cup local/organic Honey
Garnish: 4 Parsley sprigs
For the Bulgur and Couscous:
1 Cup Dried bulgur
Water: 2 x 14 oz.
½ Cup Moroccan couscous
Water Boiling: 14 oz.
¼ Toasted Marcona almonds, slightly crushed
½ Bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 Meyer lemon
10 Each, Dried apricot halves, cut into strips, rehydrated in warm water
1 Pinch saffron threads
1 Cup of ¼” diced squash and zucchini
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
Sea salt or Kosher salt and crushed black peppercorn, as needed
For the Fez Spice Paint (can be prepared ahead of time):
In a small sauce pot, heat about 1 qt. of water, saffron thread and salt until it begins to boil.
Place chilies in a stainless steel bowl, pour hot broth over the chilies and cover well. Let stand covered for about 30 Minutes.
Strain the broth from the chilies and reserve.
Transfer chilies to a blender with the spices and about ½ cup of the reserved liquid. Turn blender on medium speed, carefully add the honey then oil until fully incorporated; set aside in a bowl.
For the Salted Lemon Vinaigrette (can be prepared ahead of time):
Remove the rind from the preserved lemons, rinse and cut in small dices, put aside.
In a blender add the vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard on high-speed and slowly drizzle-in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil until emulsified; remove to a mixing bowl.
Fold in chopped herbs and diced lemon rind.
For the Chicken:
Begin by heating water, salt, spices, herbs and garlic in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil; add honey and lemon juice.
Remove from heat, allow to cool completely; strain and reserve brine.
Place chicken breast in a glass container and cover with the brine for 3 to 4 hours under refrigeration. Drain and rinse chicken breasts, discarding the brine and allow to air-dry for 1 hr.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a hot sauté pan, heat extra virgin olive oil until light smoke appears. Add chicken breast 1 by 1 skin side down. With a pair of tongs, slightly lift the breast to see that a golden crust is starting to form. Flip chicken over and place in oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.
For Bulgur and Couscous:
Begin by “spouting” the bulgur; this can be done 1 to 2 days ahead by simply pouring clean water over the bulgur until completely covered. The next day change the water out and replace with fresh water. No future cooking should be needed for the bulgur. Strain and reserve the bulgur.
Pour salted water into a small sauce pot; over high heat, bring to a boil.
Add saffron then couscous and cook about 6 minutes or until tender; strain in a bowl and cool at room temperature.
Add apricots, almonds, parsley, and lemon. Mix and check for seasoning.
With a paint brush, dipping in the Fez spice paint, draw a pattern or design on four warm plates.
Place 1 cup of couscous mixture in the center of your plate, atop with chicken breast, drizzle with the vinaigrette and garnish with a parsley sprig.
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Lastly, the Chef says: