If you’ve lived in Los Angeles anytime in the past thirty years, you’ve probably been to Zankou Chicken and eaten their revelatory garlicky white sauce. While they do serve shawarma and kabobs, I never stray from my usual order of the meal combo of roast chicken with a side of cabbage salad, and extra white sauce. True love is when two people can eat that sauce within three feet of each other, inspired by those flavors. I came up with this dish, an homage to Zankou. Sqrl-ified.
Excerpted from Everything I Want to Eat by Jessica Koslow Photography by Claire Cottrell, Jaime Beechum, Nacho AlegrePrint
- For the Garlic Schmear
- 1 head of garlic cloves
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 TB fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup non-GMO canola oil
- For the Cabbage Kumquat Salad
- 5 kumquats (or 1 tangerine)
- 1.5 TB fresh lemon juice
- 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- fine sea salt
- 1/4 green cabbage
- 1/8 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
- For the Chicken Kofte
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/8 cup red wine
- 1 small roasted red pepper, finely chopped (to make roasted peppers, see below)
- 2 small springs fresh thyme, stemmed (optional)
- 1.5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp chile powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 6 thick fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped from bottom 2/3rds of each
- 1 TB olive oil, plus more as needed
- Make the Garlic Schmear
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the garlic, salt, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons of water. Puree until very finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the motor running, gradually pour in the oil, drop by drop at first, and then, in a very thin stream. How slowly can you go? Let the blade spin for a little while and take your time, up to 10 minutes of it. Emulsification plus patience create this magic fluffy schmear. There will be more garlic schmear than you’ll need for 3-4 servings. Fortunately, leftover schmear can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Make the cabbage kumquat salad
- Cut the kumquats in half at their waists. Roll each half away from you, pressing gently to squeeze out the seeds. (If you’re using a tangerine instead, peel the tangerine and reserve a 1 inch strip of peel. Coarsely chop the tangerine and remove the seeds. Use the tangerine flesh and 1 inch of the peel.) In the bowl of a blender or a food processor, combine the kumquat pieces, lemon juice, oil, oregano, and 1/4 tsp salt. Puree until smooth.
- Cut out the core of the cabbage. Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible. In a large bowl toss the cabbage with the mint (optional) and most of the kumquat (or tangerine) dressing. Taste and add more salt or dressing as needed.
Make the Chicken Kofte
- In a bowl, combine the chicken, wine, roasted peppers, thyme, garlic, chile powder, paprika, black pepper, and salt. Mix well. Mold the mixture evenly around the rosemary sprigs to form cylinders, using about 2.5 ounces for each.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lay as many chicken skewers as will fit in a single layer in the pan and sear them until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat the searing process, adding oil as needed, until you’ve browned all the kofte. Roast in the oven until the center of each one is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- To serve, spread some garlic schmear on six plates. Divide the cabbage kumquat salad among the plates, piling it atop the schmear, then lay two kofte skewers next to each salad.
- Serve with a bowl of buttered rice.
- Not Included in the Box: Sea Salt, Canola Oil, EVOO, Dried Oregano, Red Wine, Chile powder, Smoked Paprika, fresh thyme (optional), fresh mint (optional, included in Large boxes only).
- To Make Roasted Red Peppers: Heat the oven to 450. Toss your whole red peppers with 1 tsp of oil and place on a heavy baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until soft and slightly charred. Place in a bowl and cover for 15 minutes. Uncover and rub the skins off with your hands.