Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cuban-Spiced Chicken

I almost said "no" when I was offered a copy of The Six O'Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb. The book is from The American Diabetes Association, which is a fine organization. But I don't review a lot of books based on special diets.

But I knew someone who was a recipe tester for this book (small world!) and she absolutely raved about it. I asked if it had any weird ingredients like fake sugars or .... just odd stuff. And she said no, it's normal food that's okay for diabetics.

So I decided to give it a try.

She was right. The recipes were normal.

The book is arranged by season, but I have to say that the ingredients for the majority of the recipes are probably available all year long. And if not, there are options. For example, in a recipe that calls for corn kernels, its says that fresh, canned, or frozen would be fine.

Still, there are some recipes that make sense for serving at specific times of the year. Hearty soups and stews are great for winter, for example.

The Cuban-spiced chicken that I made was in the summer section, but it would work at any time of the year. There are instructions for baking (which I did) and an option for slow-cooking, which is nice in warm weather.

The spices should also be great on chicken that you put on the grill. Or other a pork roast. Or steak.

Cuban-Spiced Chicken
Adapted from The Six O'Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb

2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I didn't do this - I made a bean and pepper salad instead)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees unless you're going to marinate the chicken first. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, thyme, oregano, and salt.

Toss the chicken with the lime juice, then coat with the spices. you can continue cooking from here, or let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Transfer the chicken to the baking sheet and bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through in the center of the largest piece.

When the chicken is almost done, warm the beans. Serve immediately.