This delicious meal is inspired by the vibrant flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine. We’re seasoning our pan-seared chicken skewers with za’atar, a traditional spice blend of powerfully aromatic herbs like oregano, sumac and thyme. To perfectly complement the bold flavors, we’re serving a cooling, mint-infused yogurt sauce on the side for dipping. It all comes together alongside pearled couscous (a plump, hearty variety), tossed with nutty roasted broccoli, dried apricots, sliced almonds and subtly sweet Meyer lemon juice.
- Saute onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in margarine for 10 minutes.
- Add flour to sauteed mixture, stirring well, cook one minute stirring constantly.
- Combine broth and half and half.
- Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.
- Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.
- Stir in salt and pepper; add chicken and stir well.
- Pour into shallow 2 quart casserole dish and top with pie shells.
- Cut slits to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly and cooked through.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place a metal cooling rack on a sheet tray. Lay the bacon over the cooling rack and roast in the oven until crispy, about 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to paper towels to drain. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, break it up into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
Melt the butter in a wide sauté pan over low heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add 1/4 teaspoon of the chopped garlic, the chile flakes, and the oregano. Cook for one minute, then add the panko. Continue cooking until the crumbs are golden brown, about another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.