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Grape Chicken (Lebanese-style)
Serves 4

500g skinned and boned chicken thigh meat
1 Tbsp macadamia, walnut or almond oil
1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 or 3 cloves
150g seedless grapes, washed
250ml fruity white wine
1 Tbsp good white wine vinegar
(or red vinegar for a darker sauce)
2 Tbsp chicken stock
2 tsp chopped fresh marjoram or thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
Black pepper
1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional)
2 Tbsp almond meal
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp blanched almonds to serve

Put oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and
cloves and allow to sizzle or fizz for a few seconds. Remove cloves.
Add whole grapes and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Add wine, vinegar
and stock and reduce to half the volume (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile,
open up chicken thigh pieces and lay each piece on small length of
butcher's string (or other cotton string). Put a little onion,
almond meal, black pepper, marjoram or thyme, and chilli (optional)
onto each piece. Pat down. Roll up and tie each into a parcel then
nestle into the reduced sauce. Sprinkle in any remaining almond
meal and onion. Put on lid and simmer very slowly for about 30
minutes, turning the parcels at the 15-minute mark. Before serving,
dry toast the blanched almonds for a minute or so on medium heat
until just browned. Once the parcels are cooked, remove to warm
place. Reduce sauce to a syrupy consistency over medium heat. Serve
on bed of rice and top with blanched almonds.


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