Why use turmeric? What’s the big deal with this orange spice? Or is it just a fad?
We’ll start with the last question first. No, turmeric is not a fad. In fact, it’s one of the most-studied spices, and the evidence is mounting that is has many health benefits.
These were first identified when researchers noted that in countries with high turmeric consumption, rates of certain cancers were very low. That started many scientists investigating the properties of turmeric.
The list is long:
- Turmeric has high concentrations of anti-oxidants, which have been shown to reduce many of the symptoms of aging and offer protection against certain diseases associated with age, such as cancer
- It also has many anti-inflammatory properties, which also helps in the fight against disease and aging
- It’s been credited with having a protective effect against radiation from cancer treatment and X-rays.
- And it’s been linked to lower cholesterol and fewer ulcers.
So there’s no reason not to add turmeric to your diet. I personally like to add about ¼ teaspoon to my vinegar and oil salad dressing. It goes in stir fries and soups, and even desserts.
Here’s a great one pot recipe that call for tumeric. I skipped the potatoes, and cut back a little on the spices. This was easy, and best of all, my husband loved it!
One Pot Tumeric Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 5 pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 20 to 25 turns freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- 1 large (or 2 medium) shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 pounds russet or yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
- 4 roma tomatoes (approx 3/4 lb), quartered, seeds removed
- 1 Tablespoon turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for serving
- Peel and roughly chop the shallot.
- Trim fennel bulbs of greens and end. Thinly slice.
- Wash and cube potatoes into 1″ pieces. I like to leave the skin on for a more rustic dish but feel free to peel them if you prefer.
- Quarter the tomatoes and gently scoop or squeeze out seeds. Discard the seeds.
- Measure oil, spices and grab fresh thyme.
Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Once hot, add oil and then chicken pieces (top side down). Sprinkle with some of the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Brown for 6 to 8 minutes or until skin releases and has some nice color. You are not fully cooking the chicken, just rendering the skin a bit and adding some color and flavor.
Remove the chicken pieces to another dish and set aside.
Lower heat to medium and add shallots, fennel and potatoes to dutch oven.
Toss to coat in remaining oil and sprinkle remaining salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika and cumin on. Toss again until well coated and continue cooking 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat, add tomatoes and fresh thyme. Place chicken pieces on top of vegetables.
Cover and roast for 90 minutes. Check at about 45 minutes and spoon sauce over chicken to keep moist.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle fresh parsley, serve and Enjoy!
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