Lemon Glazed Chicken with Butternut Squash

Fancy stuff! Not really, but to say that it’s good would be an understatement. This meal is perfect if you’re trying to impress your special somebody before you “Netflix and Chill”…wink wink.

Okay Habibi, let’s get down to business:

  • Chicken, duh. You could use any kind of chicken. I used chicken thighs because I love how they suck up all the spices so easily. AND they’re pretty cheap.
  • One butternut squash
  • A bunch of asparagus
  • A lemon
  • Some good ol’ kosher salt
  • Some black pepper
  • Give it a kick with some red pepper
  • A little bit of onion powder
  • Some olive oil

Got everything? Dope. Let’s prep:

  1. Put the chicken in a big bowl and add all the spices, slice and hand-squeeze the lemon (because you’re a boss), and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Mix everything together and set the chicken aside to marinate for a few minutes.
  3. Now the fun part: cutting the butternut squash. This SOB is really hard to cut so make sure to use a sharp knife and be very careful. Here’s a a good tutorial so you don’t slice your fingers off.
  4. After you cut the squash into cubes, put it in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and put it in a pre-heated oven to 400 F degrees.
  5. The squash is going to take a while to cook. About 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the cubes. So feel free to crack a cold one or pour you some wine and chill for a little bit.
  6. Now, lets prepare the asparagus. Okay I really don’t need to tell you how, damn it. Just add olive oil salt and pepper. Done? great, next!
  7. Let’s cook that chicken, habibi. Get your cast iron pan (not going to say this again. You need one of those.) Get the pan nice and hot, put a little bit of canola oil in, and add the chicken. Take a minute and enjoy that sizzle.
  8. Ok, pro tip: do not move that chicken. Let it sit there for a few minutes so it gets a nice golden crust. Flip the chicken, and do the same on the other side. To make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through, just be patient lol. You don’t need thermometers or anything. Just let it sit there and cook, flip every once in a while, and keep an eye on it. No rocket science here.
  9. After about 30 minutes since you put the squash in the oven, check in on it. Flip these cubes so they cook evenly. I’m not a big fan of setting up an exact cooking time. Just keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t burn.
  10. Last step: Asparagus. Super easy. You have two options here:

A) Add the asparagus to the pan after the chicken is done cooking. That way the asparagus gets all these chicken flavors. This is what I prefer.

B) Put the asparagus in a cooking sheet, and slide it in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remember the oven is really hot, and asparagus cooks very quickly.

And voila! Dinner is served. Take pictures, post them on Instagram with the hashtag #habibisknowbest and brag about your cooking skills.

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Coffee Rubbed Steak

My view on steak is simple: there is good and there is too damn good. This dish is TOO DAMN GOOD!

I was very hesitant to try cooking steak with coffee. But man I’m so glad I did! The smokey bark and flavored crust you get from this recipe is out of this world.

Here’s how to whip it up:

rib-eye steak (king of all cuts)
3 tbs ground coffee
A bunch of black pepper
A bunch of kosher salt
Some chili powder (I use an Ethiopian red pepper. It’s the best!)
Some brown sugar (you’re not making a cookie so please don’t use a lot)

Now:

  1. mix all the spices together and coat the steak really well. Then heat up a cast iron skillet (because all other pans suck) and add a little oil. Sear the meat on high heat for three minutes per side.
  2. Add butter and crushed whole gloves of garlic and begin basting the steak with the garlic flavored melted butter (yes I did use butter twice in a sentence. Go ahead, judge me.) Do that for about a minute on each side.
  3. Alright can we address the elephant in the room now? Steak doneness. Here’s the deal, habibi: there is only one way to eat steak and that is medium rare. Just feel the steak with your fingers and make sure it’s soft and not rock hard. No rocket-science here people. If you don’t see red when you cut the steak, you burned it.
  4.  Take that beautiful thing out of your skillet and let it rest for a bit. Gordon Ramsay does it and SO SHOULD YOU!
  5. Serve with your favorite veggies on the side. In this dish I made some sauteed potatoes and asparagus which I cooked in the steak’s butter multi-goodness that was left in the pan.

That’s all habibis. Give it a try and let me know how it is!

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