Let’s Eat | Sumac Chicken

Sumac Chicken

The first time I tried sumac I was eating Persian food. I couldn’t place this unique flavor until my friend clued me into the secret – SUMAC. It’s not something that’s widely used in Western cooking but it’s got an almost citrus flavor. The closest thing I could compare it to is ground coriander but smokier. It’s great with meat and I’ve used it with chicken in this recipe. It’s super simple to make as all you need to do it rub the spice mixture over the chicken, brown and them roast. The added chicken broth allows the chicken to steam and then creates a great sauce. The sauce is great with some white rice.

Sumac Chicken

Make sure to use low sodium chicken broth as the spice mixture already has a lot of salt in it. I always use homemade chicken broth so there is absolutely no salt added. If you can’t find low or no sodium chicken broth, I’d reduce the salt by at least 1/2 teaspoon. I’d rather have it a little less salty because you can always add more after the chicken is done. You can’t remove salt after it’s cooked.

Sumac ChickenSumac Chicken

Sumac Chicken
 
Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice and isn’t widely used in Western cooking. It’s almost fruity and tastes amazing rubbed all over chicken and then roasted. It’s an easy and flavorful dish that can be made any night of the week.
Author:
Recipe type: Chicken
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Ground Coriander
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Sumac
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons Salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons Butter (non-dairy butter is fine)
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth (make sure it’s low sodium)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine the coriander, sumac, cumin, ground pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Rub the spice mixture over and under the skin of the chicken.
  4. Add the butter to a cast iron skillet (or an oven safe pan) and melt over high heat.
  5. Add chicken to the pan and brow on each side, about 5-7 minutes total.
  6. Carefully add the chicken broth to the pan and then place the entire pan into the oven and bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes.

 

Sumac Chicken

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #FOODFASHIONANDFUN. I’d love to see what you make!

 

 

Sumac Chicken

Front and Backyard Renovation: Backyard Reveal

Before and after photos of my backyard. Big change, right?!? You should see the rest of the photos!

We’re finally done! The entire process from design to completion took about 13 months. I’m really, really glad we had a friendly relationship with Steve from Panjia Landscaping because it was a long process. I’ve gotten engaged, married, pregnant and almost had the baby before the project was complete.

Here's the after photo of my backyard. Click to see the before pics. It was a major transformation.

We had multiple delays, none of which where his fault, so I don’t want you to think that this is how long a landscaping job is supposed to take. It could have been done in 6 months. In any case, we’re extremely happy with the results.

 

Here's the after photo of my backyard. Click to see the before pics. It was a major transformation.

The upper cabana is very minimal by design. We have planted some passion fruit vines that, we hope, will grow and cover the cabana so that we have some shade. In the future, we plan to make it a nice sitting area where you can catch the sun set and admire the view. We’ve also surrounded it in cherimoya trees to give the hill some additional shade. It will take years for those trees to become full-grown but the passion fruit grows quickly. It supposedly does well in San Diego and can grow 20 feet a year. We may actually have fruit by this summer.

Here's the after photo of my backyard. Click to see the before pics. It was a major transformation.

We planted a few peach and nectarine trees on the hill. By March they were blooming beautiful pink flowers. We’re hoping for fruit by June. We’re going to plant additional grown cover on the hill this fall to help the hill from eroding.

Here's the before/after photo of my backyard. Click to see more pics. It was a major transformation.

The new retaining wall looks seamless with the old one. The new steps up to the upper cabana connect the old and new walls. We added some lavender and pink muhly grass behind the walls. Once they grow, they will add a touch of color and soften the hard edges of the walls.

Here's the after photo of my backyard. Click to see the before pics. It was a major transformation.

We finished the swimming pool just as the weather was starting to get cold. We haven’t had a chance to enjoy it yet. Now that the weather is starting to warm up we are finally getting a chance to use it. It gets super hot during the summer months and the cabana at the end of the pool will be a great place to lounge and stay out of the sun. It was my husband’s idea to add the shade cloth to the tops and sides of the cabana. He initially wanted the cloth to be loose but ultimately decided to make it more permanent and secure. It’s a little more of a modern Miami look.

Here's the after photo of my backyard. Click to see the before pics. It was a major transformation.

Our baby isn’t running around the back yard just yet but we’ve had friends over with children and the pool cover has been great. It really gives us a sense of calm knowing that their kids won’t accidentally fall into the pool when it’s closed.

We also added some bushes to the right side of the pool. Eventually they will grow to be about 5 feet high. They will be thick enough to protect anyone from falling down the slope. They will also keep the pool equipment and fence from site.

It’s also nice to have green grass in the backyard, even though it’s not real. Even with all the rain San Diego has gotten this year, we’re still in a serious drought. The amount of water that we are saving is huge.

Here's the after photo of my backyard. Click to see the before pics. It was a major transformation.

I grew up in an area where there were a lot of Italians (including my own family) so playing bocce ball was a ritual during the summers. Everyone played, as it was apart of our culture. While it’s not very popular around Southern California, I love that we have a dedicated space for it. That being said, it’s the one spot in the yard that I feel we could have done without. When you are playing bocce ball with a group of people, I don’t know if there will be a comfortable amount of space. We also had issues with drainage and finding the right DG that wasn’t all sand. The rains came before we had a chance to use the court so I’m not sure how I’ll feel after this summer but it’s been a huge pain in the meantime.

The other part of side yard that I absolutely LOVE is the raised garden beds. They make me feel like a farmer! While these were a DIY project for my husband and I, our landscaper was able to hook up the irrigation system into the beds. It makes it much more convenient when you don’t have to remember to water the garden. We started with seeds and now the bed is full of herbs and veggies.

Here's the after photo of my backyard. Click to see the before pics. It was a major transformation.

The bbq area is one of my favorite spots in the backyard. We’ve been using the grill all winter long. Rain or shine. The rotisserie is my new favorite cooking tool.

Here's the after photo of my backyard. Click to see the before pics. It was a major transformation.

We’ve added a few market lights outside of the bbq area and added an eating area. We’ve still got plenty of space for entertaining. We had a cocktail party and the space worked perfectly although we would like to add a few chairs and create a sitting area.

Here's the after photo of my backyard. Click to see the before pics. It was a major transformation.

I shot the yard earlier in the year before spring hit. I’m glad I did so you got the chance to see the newly finished hardscape. It gives a clear picture of the final work that was done to the yard. That being said, it’s a slightly moody shoot due to a storm that was passing through. It was actually a historic rainfall. We ended up with more rain in one day that we normally see in six months. Due to the rain, we’ve already had to make a few changes to the steps and drainage. We’ve also added a lot of additional plants and finishing touches. Either this spring or next, I’ll give you an update on the yard. It will be much more lush than it appears right now once we have the plants in and they are given some time to grow.

 

Stay tuned for the next post, which is the Front Yard Reveal! In the meantime, be sure to follow along the renovation on instagram using the hashtag #BethHomeProject.

If you’re interested in seeing more before photos check out my Backyard and Front Yard Renovations and Backyard and Front Yard Renovations: Design Decisions and The Plan posts.

If you missed my last post, check out Front and Backyard Renovation: Driveway and Front Walk.