Middle Eastern chicken
8 chicken pieces, on the bone, skin on
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp chilli powder
1 cinnamon quill
¼ tsp ground white pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 can chopped tomatoes
½ cup water
300g can chickpeas, drained
½ cup green olives
2 Tbsp preserved lemon, skin only, finely sliced,
or 2 tsp lemon zest
¼ cup mint, chopped
brown rice, to serve
½ cup nib almonds, toasted
natural yoghurt, to serve
Place chicken pieces on a board and trim off any flaps of excess skin and pieces of white fat. Pat down each chicken piece with a kitchen towel until dry.
Heat a large, heavy-based casserole or large, lidded saucepan. Add oil and butter and heat until foaming. Cook chicken in two batches until golden on all sides (about 6 minutes). Place on a plate and set aside.
Return the pan to the heat and add the onion. Sauté until transparent then add garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add cumin, chilli, cinnamon, pepper and salt and stir over the heat for a minute. Add the browned chicken pieces with their juices and stir through to coat in the spices.
our the tomatoes into the casserole and swish the can out with the ½ cup of water, then add that too. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes.
Add chickpeas, olives and preserved lemon and stir through the chicken casserole. Continue to cook with lid off for a further 15 minutes. By this time the chicken should be very tender and almost falling off the bone. Skim off any dark, orange fat using a small ladle or deep serving spoon. Sprinkle with mint and stir through just before serving.
Enjoy alongside steamed brown rice, cracked wheat or couscous and scatter toasted almonds on top. Serve with harissa (a readily available North African hot paste) if you’d like the sauce to be hotter, and a bowl of natural yoghurt as a cooler.
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes
Credit: Taste Magazine
This is ideal to prepare in advance and can be kept for a couple of days in the refrigerator. The flavour will actually improve over time. It is also ideal to freeze for as long as 2–3 months. Freeze the chicken in its sauce in small plastic containers or snaplock bags. Serve it with fresh couscous and a dolllop of yoghurt. Sprinkle with toasted cashews or almonds at the end.