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Fragrant Cinnamon-Cardamom Chicken and Noodles

October 2, 2009
Cinnamon-Cardamom Chicken and Noodles

Cinnamon-Cardamom Chicken and Noodles

During a short but strange period of my life, my first post-cubicle kitchen job was working as a cook at a halfway house for recovering drug addicts. I supplemented this low paying job with another low-paying job at an upscale gourmet shop that sold handmade pasta and whole roasted chickens that cost $20. My co-workers at the gourmet shop weren’t particularly interesting, but the halfway house was an entirely different story. In the kitchen it was me, a very angry dishwasher in his fifties, a youngish guy who used to play in a band and had a shaved head and a whole-body tattoo and told me stories about partying with Eddie Vedder, and a transvestite who was really depressed about the recent end of his marriage. We were quite the crew. There were many things I saw and heard in that kitchen that I will never forget and one of them was told to me by the transvestite, a guy named Rick (or Erica, depending on the day). “Never,” Rick told me very seriously, “ever, use too much cinnamon in a recipe. It will overpower everything.”

cinnamon_stickAnd you know, he was right. And more than ten years later, I always think of him when I cook with cinnamon. I love cinnamon, in both sweet and savory dishes. I also love cardamom, another aromatic spice that makes you feel like a giant blanket is being wrapped around you. When I was making Fragrant Cinnamon-Cardamom Chicken with Noodles, my husband came into the kitchen no fewer than three times to ask what the amazing smell was. We started eating it right out of the oven, forks in hand, standing up in the kitchen. It was that good. This is not a light dish. It’s rich and warming and because of the spices, not necessarily the ingredients, tastes really decadent. It’s the type of soul-satisfying dish I imagine making for my kids twenty years from now when they come home to visit.

The inspiration for this dish came from a gorgeous cookbook called Aromas of Aleppo. The original dish was Roast Whole Chicken with Crispy Spaghetti and uses allspice and paprika to create a flavor the author calls “heavenly.”

If you make Fragrant Cinnamon-Cardamom Chicken with Noodles this weekend your house will indeed smell heavenly and the aroma, combined with the satisfying flavor of the dish, will make you feel unexpectedly content with your life.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Hungry permalink
    October 2, 2009 9:49 pm

    Umm, I don’t mean to be picky, but the article sold me! I’m ready to go home and make this for the family this weekend. Imagine my chagrin when I found the recipe started:

    404: Page Not Found

    !!

    • October 2, 2009 10:45 pm

      Oy. Cooking and html are two very different skills – pardon the error. I’ve fixed the link. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. DorisI permalink
    October 3, 2009 1:25 am

    That sounds delicious! I’m going to try it. But those look like special noodles…are they? They seem wider and floppier than the ones I normally use.

    • October 3, 2009 5:13 pm

      They are “extra wide” egg noodles, but regular egg noodles should work fine, too.

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