All this didn't stop me chowing down on a tasty bit of chicken whenever I came across it - which wasn't often, 'cos chickens were expensive and we were poor:=) And now the question we all ask ourselves, much like 'what is the meaning of life?' - why does everything taste like chicken? Even chicken? And why does every mammal want to eat it? Our gentle Sheltie dog (not the terrier) would just about snap off my fingers to get to a piece of roasted chook. It's a mystery, my friends, a mystery.
|tender chicken with yoghurt sauce and chopped salad|
Here is a fabulous chicken recipe from Delights From The Garden of Eden, by Nawal Nasrallah. We loved her medieval hummus recipe, and this is another tasty one. Can't wait to make her boureg next!
1 kg. (about 8) skinless thigh fillets, or about 4-5 bone-in pieces
1 large brown onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
5 or 6 cardamom pods
1½ tsp of sea salt flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper (about 8 grinds of the mill)
1½-2 tbs olive oil
2 brown onions, thinly sliced - use red onions or (many) French shallots if preferred
150-200g. mushrooms, cut into chunks
¼ tsp black pepper (yes, another)
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes or powder
1 Turkish flatbread or flatbread of your choice, torn into chunks
1 tbs sumac
Plain Greek yoghurt, and chopped salad for serving
Place the skinless thighs into a medium saucepan, along with the onion, bay leaves, cardamom, 1 tsp of the salt, and the pepper
Add just enough cold water to cover it, and bring to a boil on high heat
Skim any scum off the top - there probably won't be much if using boneless thighs
Turn down the heat to low, and let it simmer away for about 25 minutes till the chicken is just cooked - if using bone-in thighs, you may need to let it simmer for another 10 minutes
While you wait, heat up the oil in a frypan, tip in the sliced onion, and stir every so often for about 15-20 mins. till it turns golden brown
Stir in the mushrooms, and let them cook for a couple of minutes
Now stir in the other ½ tsp of salt, the pepper, coriander and chilli
Grab a large casserole or roasting dish, preferably one with a lid, and place the torn-up pieces of bread in a layer on the bottom
Spoon half of the onion mixture over the bread, and place the strained chicken pieces on top, in a single layer - KEEP the broth!
Spread the other half of the onion mixture over the chicken, and sprinkle the sumac over the whole thing
You now pour the broth over the chicken, cover it (with alfoil if no lid) and bake at 200C/400F for 20-25 mins.
Now take off the lid/alfoil and cook for another 10 mins.
Serve with yoghurt which has garlic, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, lime oil, and lime juice mixed in, and a chopped salad of tomato and cucumber with salt, pepper, lime oil, and lime juice mixed thru
If using boneless thighs, chop each one into 3 pieces before cooking
If you use bone-in thighs, you may need to cook it for another 10 mins. in the oven
If you use red onions or French shallots instead of brown onions, you will only need to sauté for 10-15 mins.
FYI, I had about 350 mLs of stock when the chicken was strained
Use plain olive oil if you don't have lime or lemon oil for the yoghurt and salad accompaniments; Nawal suggests using 1 cup (250 mLs) of yoghurt with 1/2 cup of chopped parsley,1/4 tsp salt and 1 garlic clove, grated
|into the pot|
|gently stir the mushrooms into the onions|
|place the torn bread over the bottom of your dish|
|ready for the oven @200C|
|making the yoghurt sauce|
|yum! ready to eat|
|brown onion - artwork by sherry's pickings|