Chicken rug with peppers

April 1, 2011  •  Category: ,


This is an idea I picked up from chef Elise Labide. Just like chef Labide, I view cooking as a fun pursuit, an escape from the mundane and the dreary.

I meet a lot of people who tell me: ” I don’t cook” and who view cooking as a chore to avoid at all costs.

What about you?

Have you ever asked yourself  why do I cook?


  • 2 chicken breast (deboned)
  • 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 cup of red pepper paste (mild)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • salt, 1 teaspoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of seven-spice
  • olive oil, as needed


  1. Cut the chicken into strips about 1/4 inch in width (1 cm.)
  2. Douse the chicken strips with olive oil, salt, sumac and other spices or herbs. Let it marinade for 15 minutes or longer.
  3. Cut the peppers into strips the same width as the chicken, discarding the white part and the seeds. Fill a large pot with 4 cups of salted water and bring to a rolling boil; boil the pepper strips for 2 minutes until they become more pliable and drain.
  4. Cut a piece of parchment paper and set it on the work surface. Place two strips of chicken vertically side by side (one half inch apart or 1 1/2 cm.) and insert a pepper strip underneath the two strips; continue the operation with another piece of pepper, this time going over the strips of chicken; keep going until you have used a few strips of pepper and a few strips of chicken. Tighten the “rug” and cut the uneven ends if desired.
  5. With a pair of scissors, cut a square all around the chicken rug. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and when hot, flip the piece of paper holding the chicken rug onto the oil; remove the paper and let the rug cook for 3 minutes until the chicken is browned.
  6. Heat the oven to 400F and place the chicken rug on a piece of foil on a small cookie sheet. Bake without flipping the chicken rug so that the uncooked side bakes and cooks for a few minutes (no longer than 4 minutes).
  7. When all the rugs are cooked, keep warm in the oven and make the sauce: Heat some olive oil in a skillet and add 1/2 cup of red pepper paste and 2 cups of water. Stir to dissolve the paste and bring to a boil; add 3 mashed cloves of garlic to the mixture, stirring to mix well. Let the sauce thicken and when ready to eat, spoon on a plate and place the chicken rugs over it.


36 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Belinda @zomppa says:

    I LOVE this idea! What a great way to draw that “ooo” – will definitely give this a go.

  2. bergamot says:

    Very creative…The rug looks beautiful and a great combination of veggies and chicken.

  3. 5 Star Foodie says:

    So neat, I love this idea! I totally have all the ingredients and would love to make a fun project with 5 Star foodie jr. tomorrow, thanks so much!

  4. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    Such an unusual look! But I love the idea of this dish and it looks so tasty and colourful too!

  5. Ivy says:

    Very impressive and creative. This looks amazing but I don’t think I have the patience to braid the chicken with the peppers.

  6. Chiara says:

    That looks so beautiful!!! You are very creative. I love all the different colors in this dish.

  7. deana says:

    I think you could get peckish children to eat those in a snap… really smashing idea and the name is inspired, Joumana!

  8. T.W Barritt says:

    This is ingenious! It’s so beautiful! I can guarantee you it would have fallen apart in the pan at my house!

  9. Angie's Recipes says:

    What a cool idea! I love this creative recipe. ;-))

  10. Scienter says:

    This looks really cool! I eat so much chicken, this would be a fun new way to try it.

    I started cooking because I was bored with eating “grad student food.” I love the freedom of being able to make whatever I want! I grew up with a limited diet. My mom is a good cook, but her repertoire is limited to what her mom cooked for her. She’s a super picky eater so there wasn’t a lot of variety. Teaching myself to cook let me eat all the international foods I loved eating in restaurants. It’s a way for me to learn about the world through food. I’m not “artistic” except in the kitchen, so it turned into a hobby.

  11. Banana Wonder says:

    I’ve never seen chicken prepared like this! Truly genius!

  12. Nadji says:

    Une manière très originale de présenter du poulet.
    Tu nous surprendras toujours.
    Bon week-end et à très bientôt.

  13. Mark Scarbrough says:

    What a great idea! And so very beautiful. Perfect for spring. Ça me fait très plaisir!

  14. arthur says:

    Wow, what an exciting idea this is! This is the best looking chicken dish ever! I love to do this with food too because somehow they taste better and look more appetizing. Cheers!!!

  15. Christine @ Fresh says:

    This is so creative and fun to eat! Living in NYC many people do not have the time or kitchen space to cook. I cook for myself because I have better control over the ingredients and what I am eating. This is the best reason to cook in my view.

  16. Amanda says:

    Joumana, this is very creative and looks great but, like many of the others, I am just a bit too lazy and lack the patience for this.
    I think I like to cook mainly because I like to eat!

  17. Bo says:

    How fun! This is a really neat idea.

  18. D.Ramadan says:

    This is such a creative idea, love it. And the ingredients are so simple and always available in my fridge! Just a question, instead of the red pepper paste, could I make a homemade marinara sauce instead?

  19. Susan says:

    This is beautiful!!!!!!

  20. domi says:

    Voilà un superbe tapis sur lequel j’essuierai volontiers mes lèvres gourmandes. Un beau tapis gourmand avec de belles couleurs. Une très belle idée de décoration…

  21. Priya says:

    Lovely presentation, fabulous!

  22. Caffettiera says:

    What a funny presentation! It makes a nice change from the usual dinner.

    When I was a child I wanted to cook because it made me feel grown up, then I cooked because I wanted to eat less and control what I eat, then … Maybe because it is rewarding. Because I like doing things with my hands. Because it is creative but bounded.

  23. Joanne says:

    This is such a crazy unique idea! I am in awe.

  24. Min {Honest Vanilla} says:

    This is brilliant! The weaving makes the simple dish gorgeous 🙂 I started to learn how to cook was because I wasn’t too used to the local food when I moved away from home (and even lost weight!) and somehow along the way I found it therapeutic (never quite a chore when I’m inspired!) 🙂

  25. Biksuit says:

    Très original cette présentation, on n’ose même pas toucher à son assiette tellement c’est joli.

  26. Julie says:

    C’est une superbe présentation que tu as fait, le plat est digne de figurer à la carte d’un grand restaurant !

  27. tigerfish says:

    I love the weaving too. Brilliant idea!

    I cook because there was a need to – well, we can’t be surviving on take-outs 3 meals a day every day of the year! Then I started to enjoy cooking – it makes me appreciate whole foods, and how to create new flavors without sweating through the cooking. When I cook, I am also better in control of what the family is eating.

  28. Beverly says:

    I love the look of this! I’ll be trying it soon.

  29. kouky says:

    superbement joli et coloré ce tapis!! je partage tout à fait ton goût pour ce type de cuisine ludique, qui fait que c’est toujours un plaisir de la préparer, la présenter à ceux qu’on aime et la déguster!! super bonne idée! merci! bises!

  30. Joan Nova says:

    Great technique! Makes a very attractive presentation…and oh so clever.

  31. Dana says:

    I cook because I really love feeding people. Food is love, doncha know? This is a gorgeous presentation!

  32. grace says:

    a rug…made using chicken and peppers. i never thought i’d see the day–massively impressive, joumana!

  33. Grapefruit says:

    So very creative, and so pretty too!

  34. Magic of Spice says:

    What an wonderful dish…I love to cook, I see it as an art form. An art form that you are very talented in for sure…Creative and lovely 🙂

  35. rebecca says:

    fun recipe and it really does look like a rug 🙂

Add a Comment