Tag Archives: chicken

Arabesque Cafe

5 Mar

Arabesque Cafe, 869 Victoria Street, Kitchener, Canada.

Arabesque Cafe is a diner style family restaurant featuring Lebanese cuisine. It was recommended by a friend who raved about the quality and quantity of food. Indeed, the food is the heart of Arabesque Cafe.

Chicken mousahab with rice, hummus, fatoush salad and pickled beets, $12.99.

Chicken mousahab with rice, hummus, fatoush salad and pickled beets, $12.99.

The menu is unique and diverse. For example, the shawarma plate comes with your choice of beef, chicken or mixed, rice or fries and either tabouli or fatoush salad. Aside from these, the dish has a handful of vibrant red pickled beets, creamy smooth hummus and a couple of dipping sauces. It’s so hard to describe the exotic flavours but the variety of items on the plate offers so many savoury combinations to try. All plate dishes are accompanied with a warm puffed pita. When opened, a lovely burst of steam escapes.

Shawarma plate with rice, chicken and beef, hummus, pickled beets, tabouli and two dipping sauces (so good but sadly I don't know the names). $12.99

Shawarma plate with rice, chicken and beef, hummus, pickled beets, tabouli salad and two dipping sauces (which sadly, I don’t know the names of), $12.99.

Warm puffy pita. When opened, a lovely burst of steam bursts out.

Warm puffy pita. When opened, a lovely burst of steam escapes.

The front counter has a delicious display of homemade desserts such as bakalava and kunafa, salads and sauces. They are all available for purchase. For those wanting express service, there is a take-out counter. They also have hookah available on weekends in the later evenings.

Arabesque cafe is a must try for those wishing to explore authentic traditional Arab foods!



Spiced Baked Chicken

5 Feb
Season chicken thighs, baked.

Season chicken thighs, baked. Served with steamed green beans.

  • chicken thighs, trim fat, leave skin on
  • a few slices of garlic

For each chicken thigh, season with approximately

  • 1/4 tsp sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Massage spices (paprika, salt and pepper) into each chicken thigh.

2. Place 2 to 3 pieces of garlic slices underneath the skin of each chicken.

3. Rub oil on the bottom of each chicken.

4. Sprinkle sugar on top of each chicken.

5. Place chicken in baking dish.

6. Bake in a preheated 375º oven for 30 minutes. Then turn down temperature to 350º and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

Udon Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables

1 May

Udon noodles with chicken, carrots, green peppers, shitake mushrooms and onions.

  • 3 packs (200g each) of fresh udon noodles, boil the noodles so they are loose; thoroughly drain
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces (Make it vegetarian by substituting the chicken with some firm tofu or scrambled eggs.)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 3 sprigs of green onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups of water for 3 to 5 hours
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 3 to 4 tbsps soy sauce
  • juice of lemon
  • 2 tbsps oil (e.g vegetable oil or canola oil, extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • sea salt and pepper

Feel free to use different types of vegetables such as baby corn, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cremini mushrooms, shredded cabbage, zucchini, bean sprouts, etc.

Udon noodles, carrot, green onions, lemon, onion and green pepper.

Five dried shitake mushrooms soaking in water for 3 hours.

In a bowl, season the chicken with salt and pepper. Mix in the cornstarch and a couple tablespoons of water. Combine well. Also, slice the mushrooms and save the water from which the mushrooms were soaking in.

Stir fried chicken, green peppers, carrots, mushrooms and onions.

Heat a wok on high. Add in the garlic, onion and chicken.  Add a couple tablespoons of the mushroom water. Once the chicken is almost cooked, add in the carrots, mushrooms and honey. Sprinkle the contents in the wok with a tiny bit of salt and pepper. Add another couple of tablespoons of the mushroom water.  Cook until the carrots become slightly soft, then add in the green peppers and green onions. Add in half the amount of lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Udon noodles with chicken and vegetables.

Then add in the udon noodles and soy sauce.  Mix well. If the noodles seem dry, add in a couple more tablespoons of the mushroom water. Add in the remainder of the lemon juice and sesame oil. Combine well. Once the noodles are piping hot, you are done. Serve immediately.

For other noodle recipes, see Oriental Style Noodle Soup, Rice Noodles with Coconut Peanut SauceChicken Curry Noodle Soup and Chicken Stir Fry with Egg Noodles.

Sweet Indian Chicken Stew

24 Apr

Chicken Breast simmered in coconut with spices and hearty vegetables.

  • one large chicken breast, cut into large chunks (or substitute with boneless skinless chicken thighs)
  • 2 small yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and halved lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4 inches
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut each into eights or so
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 can of chick peas, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp each of cinnamon, curry, paprika, sea salt, sugar, black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat a large pot on high heat. Once hot, add in oil and then garlic, carrots, yellow potatoes, chicken, tomatoes and spices.  Mix well. Add in the coconut milk, sweet potatoes and chick peas.  Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover on medium low heat and cook for about one hour. Taste to see if more salt is needed. Serve with plain brown rice or a flat bread.

Baked Chicken with Garlic Dijon Marinade and Honey Glaze

10 Apr

Oven baked garlic honey dijon drumsticks served with garden salad.

The following marinade was inspired by a similar recipe from Astro.

  • 5 to 7 fresh chicken drumsticks, skin on (can easily substitute with thighs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • juice of one lemon (the lemon juice will help tenderize the meat)
  • 1 cup of Balkan style yogurt
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey for each drumstick (adjust amount of honey to your own preferences)

For easy clean up, make the marinade in a ziploc bag. To the bag add the garlic, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and yogurt. Mix well.

Fold back the skin on the chicken so that the meat is exposed. Folding the skin back, allows direct contact between the meat and marinade which will help the marinade soak into the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the bag with marinade. Mix well to ensure each drumstick is coated with marinade. Refrigerate for at least two hours (or up to overnight).

Drumsticks after marinating for three hours.

Drumsticks in a yogurt based marinade waiting for the oven.

Pour contents of bag into an oven safe baking dish. Discard bag. Unfold the chicken skin. Bake in a preheated 400º oven covered for 30 minutes. Turn drumsticks over and then drizzle each drumstick with honey. Continue baking at 350º uncovered for another 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken becomes golden brown. Let cool for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.

Drumsticks straight out of the oven.

I had a salad with these marinated chicken drumsticks and used the sauce from the baking dish as the salad dressing.

Chicken with Mushrooms and White Wine

20 Mar

Chicken thighs and drumsticks braised in a white wine with mushrooms and onions.

  • 4 to 6 chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • about 1 cup of flour (amount depends on the number of chicken pieces)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of white wine*
  • 10 to 15 cremini mushrooms, washed and halved
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, mined
  • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano, remove leaves from stem, discard stem
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Onions, fresh oregano, garlic and cremini mushrooms.

Chicken after it's been seared and browned.

Thoroughly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat each piece of chicken with flour. Heat a pot on high heat. Add in oil first, then chicken. Brown the chicken so that the skin is crispy and golden. Remove  chicken from pot.  To the same pot, add in butter, garlic and onions. Cook until the onions are soft.  Add in the mushrooms and oregano. Sprinkle a light dusting of salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir and then add in the white wine.  Once the liquids in the pot begin to bubble, add in the chicken and any juices that may of collected. Cook covered for 30 to 35 minutes depending on the amount of chicken. Garnish with additional oregano leaves right before serving.  Serve with plain brown rice and/or salad.

Here's how the dish looks after 30 minutes of cooking.

*For the white wine, I used Generation Seven which is a blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer. It is from Canada and retails for $13.95 (CDN).  I sampled this wine at a wine tasting earlier this year and really liked it.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

12 Oct

Pan fried chicken topped with a lemon garlic sauce.

The following recipe is a modified version of another garlic lemon chicken recipe.

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, slice horizontally the thick part of the breast into two pieces and with a meat mallet, flatten the chicken as much as possible, then cut the chicken such that each piece is about the same size.  This will reduce the cooking time as well as allow each piece of chicken to cook at the same rate.
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup of chicken broth (use low sodium broth if possible)
  • juice of one lemon (roll the lemon before squeezing, this helps release the juices)
  • enough extra virgin olive oil to thinly coat a shallow pan
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Two skinless boneless chicken breasts with its thick region sliced horizontally into two thinner pieces.

Season the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then coat the chicken in the flour.  Remove any excess flour.  Heat a pan on high and once hot, add in the oil, then the flour-coated chicken.

Each piece of chicken coated with flour and then placed in a shallow oiled pan on high heat.

Depending on the thickness of the chicken, cook each side for 3 to 5 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan.

Pan fried chicken.

In the same pan, add in the garlic, butter and chicken broth.  Cook until the garlic is soft then add in the lemon juice and cook for another minute.  Pour the sauce over the cooked chicken.  Serve immediately.