Monday, 20 August 2018

Chicken Supreme AKA Dijaaj Muluki

Regular readers know my horror stories of being attacked by our neighbour's crazy, feral chooks when we were kids.  And the stories about a friend's father chopping off the heads of his chooks in front of us.  Oh my dears, the blood, and the squawking.  Did I tell you about our fox terrier?  She used to go hunting our neighbour's birds (a different neighbour), including their extremely loud peacocks.  As far as we know, she only caught the chickens, but who knows for sure?:)

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!

(Serves 4:)


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

ingredients gathered

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

chopped salad 

yum!  ready to eat

brown onion - artwork by sherry's pickings


  1. This sounds heavenly! I really do enjoy chicken but not as much as my little dog Mochi! :D

    1. we really like this dish and will make it again for sure. dogs and cats adore chicken don't they? it's a mystery indeed. cheers S x

  2. Even the less-industrial chicken parts we buy in markets here would not need this very long cooking time to become tender and delicious (but not over-cooked). American cooks today always have to be aware when a traditional recipe was originally designed to tenderize a chicken that once had a life of its own. I'll skip the lecture that should follow, about food politics, which this brings up.

    That said -- your finished dish really looks delightful and tempting!

    best... mae at

    1. hi Mae

      you're probably right about how long they had to cook chooks for back in the day but i think this recipe is simply to get flavour into the stock and into the finished dish. it tasted great! cheers S x

  3. This looks delicious Sherry and chickens were a luxury when I was growing up as well. Hard to believe now. I must try this recipe. Pauline.

    1. hi pauline
      yes do give it a try. i know what you mean- chicken is so cheap these days! cheers S

  4. Is there a cuisine that doesn't feature chicken? I can't think of one. They're easy to raise, and SO DARN GOOD! This looks like a neat recipe, and really loaded with flavor. Thanks!

    1. it really is odd how every cuisine loves chicken! thanks for dropping by. cheers S


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