Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spicy Chicken with Quinoa Patties

Until a couple of weeks ago I had never made quinoa. I'd read a lot about it and seen it on some of my favourite blogs but hadn't gotten around to trying it out myself. I'm always a little skeptical of trendy grains, you hear lots of people talking about this or that grain that you must eat and I always wonder if they are actually going to taste good enough to be worth the extra effort of finding them and often the extra money to buy them over say rice or cous cous. My boyfriend and I are trying to eat healthier, better proportioned meals though so when I saw this recipe from Joy the Baker it reminded me that I should give quinoa a go despite my skepticism. I was thinking that if the woman who created these things of delicious evil could get behind it then so could I. 

So I made up these patties from 101Cookbooks with some additions and subtractions according to what I had/could buy from the limited selection in supermarkets in the centre of Sydney. When it comes to healthy tasty food, Heidi from 101Cookbooks has it all worked out and this recipe baked up really nicely and was shared with many family friends. My boyfriend and Mum ate the leftovers and I'm told they gain a lot when served cold. This recipe made MANY patties.

This time I wanted to try some different flavours because I feel like quinoa can handle them. I went for a blend of some of my favourite flavours, fried onions and garlic with herbs and cheese is pretty much a staple around here. I paired them with a grilled chicken dish which I normally make to go into fajitas. It's mildly spicy with no burn and some soft garlicky flavours to accompany the chilli. It was delicious and I think I prefer this version of the patties. I'm sure there will be many more experiments to come.

Spicy Garlic Chicken with Quinoa Patties
Serves 4 (Quinoa adapted from 101Cookbooks)

Spicy Garlic Chicken

2 large chicken thighs (cut into strips)
6 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 lemon (juiced)
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix all ingredients excepting the chicken into a paste. Marinate for 2 hours or more. Grill or BBQ.

Onion and Parmesan Quinoa Patties

1 cup quinoa
1 white onion (finely diced)
3 - 4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tbsp dried thyme 
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 eggs 
3 tbsp milk

1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan
3/4 cup bread crumbs

Place quinoa in a sauce pan with 1 2/3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and then simmer on low until quinoa is tender. Leave to cool.

Over a medium heat fry onion, add garlic, thyme and pepper when onion is translucent and cook until onion and garlic are beginning to brown. Leave to cool.

Beat eggs with milk and set aside. Add salt, parmesan and breadcrumbs to onion mixture and stir well to combine. Add quinoa and gently stir through making sure ingredients are well distributed. Pour over egg mixture and stir through. If the mixture is too dry, add a couple of tbsp of water to the mixture, you want it to be fairly moist. 

Preheat oven to 200C. Using damp hands form mixture into patties and place onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes turning after 20mins. 

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