Monday, December 27, 2010

Afghani Hot Dish

I have sooooo many cookbooks, but I love getting new ones! Lucky for me, my parents gave me one for Christmas: Hot Dish Heaven: Classic Casseroles from Midwest Kitchens. They got it at a store in a museum (I think it was) in Madison, WI. It's a great cookbook--it contains all-one-casserole or "hot dish" recipes. It's by Ann L. Burckhardt, a retired Star Tribune taste section editor. Lots of the recipes are for traditional comfort-type food, like tuna noodle casserole, mac and cheese, and tater tot hot dish.

I had Nate pick out one recipe that sounded particularly good so I could make it for dinner tonight. He picked out the Afghani Chicken Bake. It was pretty easy to put together, and tasted great. The recipe comes from an Afghani restaurateur in the Twin Cities. Here's the recipe:

Afghani Chicken Bake
-2-3 lbs. boneless mixed chicken pieces (I used about 2.25 pounds of boneless breasts)
-1 tbs. corn oil (I used olive)
-3 medium potatoes, peeled and chunked (I did not peel them, and I would recommend "chunking" them rather small so they cook)
-3 medium carrots, peeled and chunked
-1 tomato, sliced
-1 green pepper, sliced

Tomato sauce:
-6-oz. can tomato paste
-1.75 cups water
-1 tbs. crushed garlic (I didn't quite know how to do this, so I kinda crushed 4 cloves of garlic then chopped it all up)
-1 teas. salt
-1 teas. ground coriander seeds
-1 teas. black pepper
-1/4 teas. cayenne pepper

Hot cooked rice, preferably basmati

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash chicken, removing skin and fat. If chicken breasts are large, cut in half (I kind of cut in quarters). Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and brown chicken.

In a 2.5-quart greased baking dish, layer the chicken, tomato, green pepper, potatoes and carrots. Combine ingredients for tomato sauce and pour over chicken and veggies.

Cover and bake for 1 hour or until chicken and potatoes are tender when pierced with fork (I ended up baking for 1 hour 20 and the potatoes were good). Serve with rice to soak up tomato sauce.

This dish was tasty, although I had to add some extra salt to my plate. Really crushing the garlic would make a difference, though, so I'll be sure to do that next time.

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