New Recipe: Ethiopian Spiced Pouch Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Onions

Hey y’all! I am trying to post more often but French class is eating my life at the moment. Class is going well!  I will never be able to write French poetry, but hopefully by the end of this class I will be able to get by in Togo. So things are looking up.

One of the reasons I created this blog was to share new recipes that I’ve been working on and my general interest in PFB*, I mean, the culinary arts.

If you haven’t seen the Ted Allen Onion Network video, you definitely should. The video is NSFW (strong language) but it brings joy to my life ^_^

*Pretentious Foodie Bullshit

Okay, so on to the food.

Ingredients:

1 large boneless chicken breast (thawed)

1 large sweet potato (peeled, quartered and sliced in 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces)

1 large red onion (rough dice)

Ethiopian spices (Mitmita, Berbere, mitin shiro) 4-5 tsp. total

Salt,  black pepper

butter 3 tbsp.

garlic (4-5 cloves, peeled)

lemon juice (1 medium lemon)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and chop sweet potato and onion. Melt butter in a large bowl and add 2 to 3 tsp of Ethiopian spices and lemon juice. Mix and match to your spice preferences. The mitmita is the most spicy, the berbere is a bit spicy and the mitin shiro is not spicy at all. Toss onions, garlic and sweet potato in the butter, lemon juice and spice mix. Coat well and then place on double layered foil that will become the pouch.

Rub the chicken breast with 2-3 tsp of Ethiopian spice mix and salt and pepper. Place chicken on top of vegetables and fold pouch tightly.  Bake for an hour or until chicken breast is cooked through.

This recipe was a huge hit with D. His only suggestion was that we have bread to eat along with it. Although I really enjoyed it as well, it was a bit spicy for me and I felt that it lacked something. The sweet potato was definitely a great choice, the sweetness worked well with the spice.

I appreciate any suggestions that you all may have, especially if you have experience cooking with Ethiopian spices etc.

I absolutely adore cooking but I will be the first to admit my lack of expertise! So, please! If you have wisdom, send it my way!

Tis the Season! (For an update)

It has been a while since my last post but life is moving quickly! Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas happened (WHOA!!!) and the New Year has arrived!

Thanksgiving weekend was quite good for our little family. My wonderful Mother-in-law who I adore was able to visit for Thanksgiving and we had an awesome time touring the Smithsonian museums with her

and introducing her to the deliciousness that is Peruvian Chicken and yucca.

Photo courtesy of http://howchow.blogspot.com/2010/05/trolling-peruvian-chicken-ledos-pizza.html

The visit was wonderful and we were so happy to see her before the move to Africa. Also, the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the American Indian are really super cool! I saw Dorothy’s ruby slippers!

I have also been making friends among D’s co-workers. A few of the lovely ladies and I got together and attended a craft fair here in Falls Church. It was so wonderful! I bought a BEAUTIFUL new apron and a few gorgeous pieces of pottery: two mugs, one bowl and a huge cookie jar!

The ladies were also kind enough to invite me to join their newly formed book club and, although I have never been much of a joiner (judging by my one meeting stint in the Girl Scouts), I really enjoy these ladies’ company, so I figure I will give it a shot.  If I stink at it, well, perhaps whatever sweet treat I offer to the meeting will make up for my socially awkward nature. Either way, it is yet another opportunity to bake and that is always a happy time 🙂

Speaking of baking, I’ve been doing quite a bit of that lately with a fair amount of success. In November I attended a Cupcake and Champagne party. I made dark chocolate cupcakes with a cocoa and cayenne pepper buttercream frosting.

The party was so much fun and I got to know and spend time with some of the lovely people D gets to work with everyday. There have been many such get togethers since then. Most recently D and I hosted our first dinner party. D roasted some pork, made a mushroom crepe cake and I made my first loaf of Challah bread

I was surprised at how easy it was to make challah. Definitely my go-to bread from now on. I also baked some regular bread for sandwiches and such. We have been trying to make our own bread rather than buying it from the store. Eh, it is a work in progress 🙂

This bread makes excellent toast. I always use the recipe from the blog The Simple Dollar.

This year’s Christmas celebration was especially special for D and I. This was both our first Christmas together as a married couple but also this is the first time we have celebrated together at all. All the years before we each celebrated with our respective families and last year I was in NYC. So we did it right! We bought a tree, stockings and lights 😀

We’ve also came up with our own little holiday tradition of exchanging gifts on Solstice day rather than Christmas day. We made a special dinner on Solstice and left the Christmas cartoon watching for Christmas day proper.

D and I both now have Kindles!!! OMG it is awesome. So much reading!

We have definitely had a blessed holiday season this year and we are looking forward to all the New Year brings. I start French class on Tuesday, which will be an interesting challenge. Learning a new language has never come easy to me, but I am excited for the two month class. The class aims to get me conversational so that I can have a good foundation to build on in Togo. Although the time off has been nice, it will be good to have a busier schedule and I will get to socialize a bit more.

The New Year will bring a lot of changes for D and I but we are both very excited for what is to come. I am so thankful to start this year with D and I hope 2012 brings many blessings your way.