Tahini Chicken with Grapes and Artichokes from Cara’s Cravings
As promised, I’m bringing you guys some great posts from some fellow bloggers while I’m away. Today, I have Cara from Cara’s Cravings. Thanks Cara for posting in my absence!
Since Jen and her man are having the times of their lives gallivanting across Europe, I thought it would be uber-appropriate to share a dish that reminds me of my own favorite vacation.
Two summers ago, my husband Ben and I made one of our dreams come true by booking a 2-week visit to Greece. If you’re thinking about traveling to Greece, I have two recommendations:
1) Early June is a fabulous time to go. It’s just before the major rush of European vacationers, so you’ll enjoy amazingly cheap restaurant deals and smaller crowds. But the weather is still great!
2) Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go there on a cruise!
Cruises are lovely, but you don’t truly get to experience the culture in any of the places you visit. And by culture I mean the sights, sounds, people, and of course, the FOOD. Ben and I went on a Mediterranean cruise for our honeymoon and scrambled each busy day to grab at least one “authentic” bite from each city, but every evening when we boarded the ship again, it was like returning home. (Well, if home consisted of a multi-course, fine-dining event every night, but you get my point.)
During our stays in Athens, Santorini and Mykonos, we were able to eat like the locals. (Actually, we probably ate a lot more than the locals, but that’s what you do on vacation, right?) Gorgeous fruits and vegetables, freshly caught local fish, warm breads from the oven, and blushy wines were all at our fingertips. I can’t say we had a bad meal there once. But I can say, with total confidence, that the grilled haloumi cheese with honey-wine tahini sauce we enjoyed rooftop in Santorini as the sun set over the Mediterranean Sea was one of my favorites, and my mouth still waters for it now.
This chicken dish, believe it or not, was inspired by that evening. If you’ve never had tahini, it’s just like a nut butter except that it’s made from sesame seeds, and it’s a common ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. If you’re familiar with tahini, I’m going out on a limb and guessing that you’ve never had it mixed with honey. You’re in for a real treat, I promise. The itty-bitty bite of sweet does magic to the smooth, nutty sauce, especially with a slight tang from lemon juice (this was my alternative to the wine that the restaurant used in their dish.) I rounded out the dish with two other commonly used Mediterranean ingredients that I thought would be delicious with this sauce, grapes and artichokes.
We both agreed that this was one of the best things I’ve made in a while, and we even started rattling off the names of friends we thought would love it too. Because truthfully, as elegant as this tastes, it’s super simple to make and easily comes together in one skillet from stove-top to oven. Since this meal is quite rich from the tahini sauce (don’t worry, it’s the good kind of fat!) we opted to pair it with a light side of roasted asparagus. It was a doubly good idea because you can throw it in the oven at the same as the chicken and walk away (or go sip on a glass of wine) till it’s all ready.
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com
Looking for an simple yet elegant Mediterranean dish? This skillet-roasted chicken with grapes and artichokes in a lemon-honey tahini sauce is an easy one-dish meal, that takes me back to me back to Santorini with every bite.
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil or olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 5oz each
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 of a 12oz package of frozen artichokes, thawed according to package directions
3/4 cup red grapes
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 8-9″ oven-proof skillet, preferably cast-iron. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and cook until browned on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, combine tahini, water, lemon juice, honey, garlic and cumin a blender or small food processor and process until smooth.
When chicken is browned on both sides, turn off heat and pour the tahini sauce over the chicken. Scatter the artichokes and grapes into the skillet. Transfer to oven, and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center or a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165ºF (actual cooking time will depend on thickness of chicken.)
Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 20.6 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.3 g
Cholesterol 82.2 mg
Sodium 332.8 mg
Potassium 612.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27.3 g
Dietary Fiber 8.4 g
Sugars 14.8 g
Protein 40.4 g
Cara Lyons is the author of Cara’s Cravings, a food blog dedicated to indulgent recipes for healthy living. Cara has found that the key to maintaining her 75lb weight loss is spinning her passionate love of all foods and cooking into enticing, wholesome recipes featuring clean and nutritious ingredients. She has proven to herself and those around her that healthy food is far from boring. On the contrary, it can be rich, interesting, and unexpectedly delicious. In addition to her blog, her original recipes can also be found in Clean Eating Magazine. Recently Cara has taken an interest in cooking “inclusively,” meaning, she enjoys dabbling in gluten-free, vegan, and other specialty diets, so that more people can enjoy her recipes.