Spice to Plate {a cookbook and weeknight chicken recipe!}

Good fortune.
That's what happens when all the planets align, the culinary stars smile down, and I go to my mailbox to find this lovely little cookbook called Spice to Plate waiting for me.
Oh and there's this amazing spice called Zanzibar curry powder included in the package. Booyah!
The smell of this fresh, sassy spice blend is literally bursting out of the bottle, even before I can unscrew the top and take a whiff. So delicious. I wish I had smell-o-vision, so I could share with you. {What is smell-o-vision anyways? Does it really exist? Hmm...need to research that. }

The Spice to Plate cookbook was put together by the creative folks of the Savory Spice Shop, a specialty spice shop founded in Denver, Colorado in 2004 by by Mike and Janet Johnson.
With 33 locations in 16 states, the Savory Spice Shop continues to grow, create, innovate, and thrill customers with their handcrafted signature seasonings and huge array of freshly ground spices and herbs. And they can cook!
They just happened to open their first store in Georgia, in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta, which is truly exciting! I can't wait to go visit and immerse myself in the fragrance and take home some goodies for my kitchen. Anyone checked it out yet?

Here are my favorite things about the cookbook:
  • The recipes are definitely imaginative and inviting. I mean, "Portobello Sandwich with Coffee Aioli, Dill Pickle Roll Ups, Tropical Shrimp Cocktail, Roasted Brussels Caesar Salad, Salted Caramel Monkey Bread" - to name a few. Yes ma'am!
  • The photos are lovely and make me want to be a better food photographer. Props go out to Tony Correa and Suzanne Klein for their beautiful styling. These photos make me smile, get hungry, salivate, gasp, and want to cook!
  • It is spiral-bound! I love it. Easy to move around and keep flat while using. Bravo!
I enjoyed making the Chicken Biryani recipe in the book. I have to admit it was a two day process. NOT because the recipe was hard - it is quite simple. But, ever have those days where you start to prepare a recipe and about one third of the way in, you realize that you have to be somewhere in 30 minutes and you aren't gonna get it finished. Sound familiar?
That's what happened to me. But, it's a good reminder that it can work out so nicely when you prep a bunch of items the day before. Then you just grab everything for the recipe the next day and knock it out in no time. 

This Zanzibar curry powder is a blend of lemon peel, garlic, salt, ginger, onion, allspice, parsley, white pepper, sugar, fenugreek, turmeric, mace, black pepper, thyme, coriander, cumin, cayenne, arrowroot, cinnamon, anise, cloves, and cardamom. That's a mouthful people!
Of course, this is not your traditional Chicken Biryani, but it's tasty and easy for a weeknight dinner. I'm looking forward to using the Zanzibar again to make the Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Curry Crema recipe from the book!

If you want to explore the magic of spices from Savory Spice Shop, see more recipes, or find a location near you, check them out here!
To see more about the Spice to Plate cookbook and the story of how it all came together, check this out! You can purchase your own copy here!

Chicken Biryani
Serves 4-6

from the Spice to Plate Cookbook

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 Tablespoons Zanzibar Curry Powder, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 Tablespoon olive oil {I used coconut oil}
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee {I used two}
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed {I used brown basmati and forgot to rinse}
1-2 small tomatoes, chopped
2 cups chicken broth {I used veggie, didn't have chicken broth}
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit {e.g. dates, apricots, raisins, currants}
1/4 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup chopped or sliced almonds {I didn't have them, so I used pine nuts}
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley {I used two}
1 lemon, juiced

Cut chicken into bite-size cubes and toss with 1 Tablespoon of the spice blend and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat oil over medium heat in Dutch oven or large saute pan. Add chicken and saute until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a clean bowl and cover with foil.

In the same pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute until softened and browned, scraping up any browned bits from the chicken. Stir in rice and remaining spice blend and cook for another two minutes. Stir in tomatoes, broth, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. {My dish took about 40 minutes to cook, because I used brown rice instead of white.} Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about 10 minutes.

Fluff the rice with a fork and fold in chicken, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, almonds {or any other nut you like!}, and parsley. Season with lemon juice. Serve.

Disclosure: This book and spice blend was complimentary, but the opinions expressed herein are genuine and unsolicited. 


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