keeping it simple {zahtaar chicken}


Recently I had a self revolutionary epiphany.
Keep it simple. Period.
I know …deep. 😉
But, I don’t know about must of you, but personally…I realized…
I have a slight need to sorta..complicate things.
Maybe it’s the over thinker in me..(I like to analyze every little detail, weigh in the worst possible scenario & then deal accordingly)
Or it’s just my time that I have living in life’s trenches, that makes me weary & cynical?

20131023-131915.jpgThe last few weeks, I have begun some serious training for my first half marathon
& with my new daily forced (gotta train!) 30 minutes of just me & the squirrels…
I am faced with the time to just think…

When you are a novice runner like I am, its all about just putting one sneakered foot after the other.
Slow & at your own pace. Eventually you will get to the finish line.
Simple …one step. two step…repeat.
You just have to do it. (Nike’s logo – Brilliant & I just for the first time really get it! )

During the day to day chaos that is Tunie B. & me
It is so easy for me to get wrapped up in the nitty gritty details of things…
Micro managing the consequences of my every decision & action as a single mother (& as a plain old human) doing it all, with no one at my side to filter me.
That sometimes…..I miss the most obvious thing…
That things…really..not so hard…if…
I just keep – simple.

ok then…simple (its hard not to over think even that concept – LOL)
How do I do that?
Just jump in…do it?
One step…two step…
Worry about the details after?


Despite that little devil on my shoulder named doubt,
I am taking this theory into everything I do..
Mothering, career, relationships….life in general.
What’s that saying?
“There is nothing to fear but fear itself”
& truthfully, I can’t allow the last few years to dictate the next decade or more of my life.
So worse case scenario (see it’s hard for me to let the details go)
I just do it.
I fail.
So then…
I pick myself up …
& try again.
Well, here I go…


Zahtaar Chicken
This recipe is as simple as it gets with me, 1 pot, 3 major ingredients, & dinner is served. But there is in all honesty, nothing simple about its taste. Zahtaar is one of those Israeli spices that just do it all; makes things savory & delicious without any effort. Funnily enough, I almost never cook with it, other than to sprinkle some onto my toast with a little olive oil for lunch & as an occasional spice accompaniment for my killer olive tomato focaccia recipe.
However the other night I had the chicken out, spice cabinet open, & my hands on my ever handy dandy cumin, when the zahtaar bottle fell onto my head – literally.
Devine intervention? More Devine cooking inspiration. Keeping it simple with this aromatic spice made this chicken dish one to savor bite after bite. The peppers adding just the right amount of subtle sweetness to take my tastebuds to that beyond simple finish line.

4-6 chicken thighs (I like to use the ones that have the skin on
Zahtaar spice (I use the Pereg brand)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
4-6 cloves whole garlic
3 small peppers (I use combo red, yellow, orange), sliced

Lay your chicken thighs out on a piece of wax paper or cutting board, & generously spice all sides with the zahtaar.

Heat a large skillet with your olive oil, on medium-high flame. Then with tongs, lay each chicken thigh skin side down in pan, and brown first one side then the other (for about 2.5 minutes per side). Remove the chicken thighs from pan and set aside on plate.

Using the same pan with all the chicken drippings, add the slices onions and sauté for about 6-7 minutes until soft & translucent. (Make sure to mix the onions well with a wooden spoon, scraping up any of the leftover chicken bits from the bottom of the pan – add a little olive oil if needed)

Then add the garlic & the peppers and mix well. Then, arrange the browned chicken thighs on top of the peppers. Cover skillet and cook on stove top for about 30 minutes. Remove cover and cook for another 5-8 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

Serve immediately over rice or couscous.