There isn’t time for many words today – this post is going to be a bit of a blur – because in twelve minutes flat, I have to head out the door, hop on a Bixi, and get my sorry rump to yoga class (I like to at least pretend that I’m a fit, adult woman. Come to think of it, I also like to pretend that I’m an adult woman. As in, a grown-up; as in, a lady.)
Before I run down the stairs and start frantically biking until I’m out of breath, arriving at the studio like the wheezing, sweating, mess of a lady that I sometimes am, I wanted to quickly – very quickly! – share a recipe with you. (It seems that my top priority is making sure you are all well fed. We can discuss my poor judgment another time. Along with my poor use of punctuation/over-use of parentheses in this post.)
But right now – SPICED CHICKEN PATTIES IN LETTUCE CUPS! WITH DATE CONFIT! THEY’RE A REVELATION! MAKE THEM! (I don’t know why I’m using caps; these things practically sell themselves. Which I’m grateful for, because I should’ve already left the house.)
Eat well and be well, friends. Big love x
Spiced Chicken Patties in Lettuce Cups, with Date Confit – adapted from Food Republic
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed*
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
- 2 tsp Ras el hanout
- 1 tsp curry
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
*economical alternative: I prefer buying a whole, good-quality chicken and taking it apart myself – using the different pieces for diffrent recipes and freezing anything I don’t use.
- 16 small hearts of lettuce leaves
- 1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeded and diced
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 handful cilantro leaves
- 15 fresh dates, pitted and halved
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Thai chili, finely chopped
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the date confit:
Put the dates in a bowl, cover with just-boiled water and leave for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet and fry the shallots on medium-low heat, covered, for 15-20 minutes until very soft.
Drain the dates and add them to the pan, squashing them with the back of a fork to break them down. Stir in 4 tablespoons water, the cinnamon, chili and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until it forms a thick jam consistency. Add more water if it is too thick. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the confit into a serving bowl and leave to cool.
For the chicken patties:
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 100°F. Pulse the chicken in a food processor, then add the garlic, ginger and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse again to combine. Form the chicken mixture into 16 equal balls, the size of golf balls. Flatten each one to make a little patty. (Note: you can freeze the uncooked patties on parchment paper, in one layer (I use a pizza tray), then transfer to freezer-proof container, with parchment between each patty to prevent sticking).
Heat two-thirds of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties, in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan) for 3 minutes on each side. Just before they finish cooking on each side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in the low oven while you cook the remaining patties, adding more oil when necessary.
Put a chicken patty on top of each lettuce leaf, scatter a little cucumber, red onion and cilantro over and top with a spoonful of the date confit. Serve warm or at room temperature.