Moroccan Chicken Sumac

Growing up in California, I was blessed to have been surrounded by a plethora of other cultures. I am especially lucky to have a mother who teaches English as a Second Language (E.S.L.) to immigrants who are far more generous than many of my American peers. Some of my mom’s students (and other immigrants I have met) would literally give the shirt off of their back, so sharing food was just a basic gesture.

Each year, my mother would host a (glorious, fun, yummy) potluck where I was able to try food from many cultures around the world. The pride of each country or region was so fun to see and my mom’s students really “showed out” with their dishes. Each student urged me to try just a bit of their food. Each story was similar: “it’s the best food in the world!” The passion for food and culture started in my mom’s  classroom. It is safe to say that during that time, I had taken kindly to Moroccan food and culture.

That being said, I write my own recipes. Of course I always search for many recipes of what I want to cook, taking and adapting elements from each, but never imitating anything fully. I think cooking is very much an art form, and so I encourage you to adapt this simple recipe to your liking.

• Ingredients:

○ Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (or breasts)
○ 1/3 cup Olive Oil
○ 6-8 Cloves Minced Garlic
○ Juice of 1 Lemon
○ 2 Tsp Sumac Seasoning
○ 3 Tbsp Butter
○ Salt

1. Mix together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, sumac and salt into a plastic bag.
2. Add chicken to the plastic bag with seasonings and let marinate for a few minutes. This can be done longer if desired.
3. When ready to cook, start by heating a large non-stick pan on medium heat.
4. Melt the butter into the bottom of the pan and spread around.
5. Add the chicken thighs and cook with medium heat on each side until browned.

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6. After about 10 minutes, the liquid should start to thicken up. This is the part that you don’t want to skip. If you let this part thicken, the mixture crystallizes and creates the most delectable browned bits on the chicken.

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7. When finished to your desired “brown-ness,” remove the chicken and serve with cous cous.

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Pro Tip: I like to serve my Chicken Sumac with Garlic Aioli 🙂

Louisiana Chicken Stew

Although I was born in California, I sometimes like to celebrate my heritage which goes back much further than my current home. My family emigrated from many parts of Europe, and some of them ended up in New Orleans, Louisiana.

It was my maternal grandmother who was raised in the Big Easy– she was the one who passed down not only my palate for food, but taught me how to cook it as well. She could make anything amazing out of very few ingredients. One weekend when I was young, she came to our home for a visit and whipped up a Chicken Stew for lunch. I had never eaten it before, but it would not be the last time I enjoyed this amazing creation.

This was not my grandmothers exact recipe–but from my memory and some online searches for ingredients, I was able to create something that tastes very similar. I hope you enjoy this amazing southern meal!

Ingredients:

• 1 full chicken, cut up
• 4 additional legs
• 2 additional leg quarters
• 1 stick salted butter
• Spices: Paprika, salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 to 1 cup celery, chopped
• 1 yellow onion, chopped
• 2 cups sliced mushrooms
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup chopped green onion
• 2 Boxes [32oz] chicken broth *Pro tip: less can be used for a thicker consistency stew
• 1 cup flour

Directions:

1. Start by melting the butter in a non-stick pan.
2. Add the chicken seasoned with spices as desired.
3. Brown chicken on both sides on medium heat and remove from the pan (you may have to do this in 2 batches).
4. Take the leftover oil from browning the chicken and slowly add 1/2 cup of flour. **DO NOT STOP STIRRING. Cook until golden brown.
5. Add celery and onions and let them cook down for a couple minutes.
6. Add chicken broth slowly, as needed while the vegetables cook.
7. Once vegetables are cooked down a little bit (about 5 min), add the chicken back to the pot.
8. Add more chicken broth as desired. More for a soupy consistency or less for a thicker consistence. Note: you can always thicken later on.
9. Cook for 30-45 minutes. The longer it is cooked within this time frame, the more tender the chicken becomes while on medium-low heat.
10. Add green onions a couple minutes before removing from heat.
11. Add extra seasoning if desired, and extra flour for a thicker consistency.
12. Serve with sourdough bread or over white rice.
13. Enjoy!

Note: You can add different vegetables or ingredients for different flavors. Some people like to add a bit of spice. Others like to add bell peppers. I don’t necessarily care for those flavors right now, but anything can change!

Learning to Live Small and Love Big

Our world is so focused on possessions and accomplishments, that we sometimes lose sight of what life is really about. Live Small Love Big is focused on minimalism which sometimes requires us to rewrite our story as a culture. As parents, we can help our children by giving them less rather than more by teaching them to play with imagination rather than to consume media. We can show them that sometimes DIY can save money and be a fun learning experience. Finally, we can model that learning to cook some meals at home can be a great way to spend quality time while not shelling out a ton of money for just one tasty meal. Above all, loving your family, and your neighbor is our motto here; we like to model that by serving others and this blog is a way to share all of that knowledge. Welcome and enjoy!

About Me

I am a millennial and a mom to one with an affinity for helping others. I like to organize stuff. I like to share things. I like to help others. I want to use my blog as a tool to equip others to be successful in as many ventures as possible, and even open minds to new ideas. Whatever knowledge I have or obtain, I organize and share. Live Small Love Big is my platform for that.

Learning to Live Small and Love Big

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