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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

My key ingredient: Cumin 

Kareem Ali, sous chef de cuisine at Le Patio restaurant at St Regis Dubai, offers us his recipe on how to serve Le Patio Harissa Chicken

Cumin seeds.
Cumin seeds.

Kareem Ali, sous chef de cuisine at Le Patio restaurant at St Regis Dubai, says: “I have always loved working with ingredients that make such a distinctive change in flavour, even with the smallest quantity. Cumin enhances any dish with its strong and aromatic flavours. Especially when cooking Middle Eastern and Indian food, cumin is one of the essential ingredients for most signature dishes of both cuisines.”

Le Patio Harissa Chicken

Serves two

Ingredients for harissa paste

100g dried red chillies

1tsp caraway seeds

1tsp coriander seeds

1tsp cumin seeds

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2tsp tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1tsp teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Salt (to taste)

Method for the harissa paste

Soften the chillies by placing them in boiling water and let it stand for 30 minutes.

Toss the caraway, coriander and cumin seeds in a pan and toast over low heat, while stirring to avoid burning.

Once spices are toasted, or when they get fragrant, turn off heat and take them off the pan.

Grind the toasted spices to a fine powder.

After the chillies are soft, drain and de-seed before tossing them along with the rest of the ingredients into a food processor to form a smooth, thick paste.

Ingredients for the chicken

250g sesame seeds

2 chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 cup harissa paste

1 cup chicken stock

1 lemon

1tsp cumin powder

2tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

1tsp olive oil

Method for the chicken

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and toast the sesame seeds for 3-4 minutes, or until golden.

Grind the toasted sesame to a powder and add a few drops of olive oil to create a paste. Sprinkle with salt.

Coat the chicken breast with harissa sauce and rub on the garlic and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle cumin powder on the chicken. Seal with foil and let it rest for 45 minutes.

Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken breast on both sides until golden. Add chicken stock and lemon juice.

Lay the chicken on a non-stick baking tray and bake for approximately 10 minutes.

To serve

Serve this dish hot on a bed of rice, which can be garnished with finely chopped peppers and mint leaves.

La Patio Harissa Chicken. Courtesy Le Patio
La Patio Harissa Chicken. Courtesy Le Patio

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