Eating with Ned – Georgian Chicken

15 May

EWN georgian chickenI have to share something quite exciting from this week: we have had a dinnertime revolution in our house! Instead of 2 dinner sittings in which Ned would eat at 5:15pm, followed by Morgs and I, often at 8:30pm, we have started eating together at the family friendly hour of 6:30pm. Probably only those of you with kids in tow will appreciate that this is huge for us!

The previous arrangement worked to a point, but with Ned getting older we really wanted to start the family dinner. We had been talking about how and when to start – it was great in theory, but I couldn’t see how it would work before Ned’s 7pm bedtime, without us having to eat so early that we (read: I) would be hungry again at 10pm. 6:30pm seems to be a good compromise for now, even if it does sometimes push bedtime out a touch.

This important shift in our eating routine is the start of the family dinners which were so important in both my and Morgs’ childhoods and which we both want for our family too. Ned will have plenty of safe and private time to learn table etiquette and opportunities to eat a broader range of food. And Morgs and I have the added bonus that dinner won’t now devour hours and hours of our evening.

So I thought I’d do a segment every now and then called Eating with Ned. Over the week I’ll post the recipes that we successfully ate together, and that we all were able to enjoy. If anyone out there reading this has any favourite toddler-and-family meals or novel ways of keeping dinnertime a civilised affair I’d love to hear about it in the comments. So far, Ned seems so fascinated with the process (and is probably so hungry) that he is quite well behaved. But I’m sure the time will come when we need some tricks up our sleeves!

The first successful family meal was Georgian chicken on couscous, with buttery corn and 4 spice carrots. To be honest, it was a meal I planned for Morgs and I, but Ned loved each part, and surprisingly, was especially mad about the carrots (the recipe for which I’ll post later in the week).EWN the end

Georgian Chicken

Ingredients

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 large red onion, sliced

1 cup fresh coriander leaves (I wasn’t too fussy about it: there was a fair bit of stalk in there too), chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish

5 peeled garlic cloves, finely diced or pressed

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp tamarind paste diluted in 3 tbsp water

½ cup pomegranate paste, diluted in ½ cup water (I couldn’t find this so I used ½ cup molasses diluted in ½ cup water)

2 tbsp tomato sauce

1 tsp salt or to taste

3 chicken breasts, each cut into 4 approximately even pieces

Method

In a large pot with a lid, mix the onions, coriander, garlic, sweet paprika, cayenne pepper and black pepper.

In a medium sized bowl mix with tamarind paste and water, pomegranate paste or molasses and water, tomato sauce and salt.

Stir the tamarind mixture into the onion mixture, submerge chicken pieces in sauce and cook on medium-high for approx 10 mins, until simmering.

Lower the heat to the lowest setting to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for 1 hour.

Uncover, check seasoning and continue to cook uncovered for 20 mins to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken.

Serve chicken and onion sauce over couscous, garnished with coriander leaves.

Adapted from a recipe posted in The New York Times

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5 Responses to “Eating with Ned – Georgian Chicken”

  1. Kate Selway May 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Hi Marcie! Random I know but what is facebook for if not for getting random messages from friends you haven’t seen in 15 (20?) years? I’ve enjoyed the recipes on your blog that I’ve looked at and am impressed that you have a toddler eating such interesting meals! As a public service, I just felt I needed to say that if you’ve never had pomegranate molasses I would definitely recommend searching it out, it will blow your mind. I first had it instead of balsamic with olive oil as a bread dip and now love it in recipes, especially with beans. It’s got a real tartness as well as the sweetness, it’s just incredible. Hope everything’s going well for you and your family!

    • marcieblogs May 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

      Kate! Great to hear from you! Gosh, on that recommendation I will put more effort into finding the pomegranate molasses – thanks for letting me know! Are you in NY these days?

      • Kate Selway May 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

        Yes, I’ve been living in Connecticut for the last year and have just moved down to New York. There’s so much great food and fortunately, after Australia, nothing seems too expensive. You’re about to head back to Brissy? Seems like you’ve had a great time in Vancouver, it’s such a great city!

  2. Jane Warner May 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Great that you have started ‘a family dinner’, we have not long started too, just like you I’m really keen for us all to sit down and eat together as a family (I’m having to teach the 3 of them table etiquette though, not just the kids!). We were starving by 10 pm too but have got used to an early dinner now (5.45ish) with a yoghurt at about 9pm! Way more time in the evenings now and Glen and I eat much better as we now eat a healthy, nutritious meal I’ll have made with the kids in mind, rather than them eating well and then us eating whatever quick (less nutritious) thing we can find in the cupboard at 8pm. I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog for some inspiration Marcie! Hope all’s well otherwise xx

    • marcieblogs May 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      It’s an amazing change, hey Jane? We are loving it so far. Good idea on the yoghurt – I had a sneaky bowl of icecream (and imported milo!) last night at 9:45…yoghurt may have been a better choice! Hope your gorgeous wee ones are going well.

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