Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chicken in a Clay Pot دجاج بالفخار

This dish is sort of the Levantine equivalent of a tajine - you'll note it's slightly different than a Moroccan tajine, though generally cooked in the same sort of container. We were lucky to have a clay pot at mom's house, but frankly you could use a ceramic casserole dish as long as it has a tight fitting lid. The recipe I'm using is basically a translation of the one here (which has lots of good pictures if you're interested).

5 Medium Onions (this is kind of a lot - you could get away with less
5 Cloves Garlic
Vegies (potato, carrots, winter squash, eggplant - this is more or less up to you)
Bell pepper

1 can chick peas

Spices: Tumeric, Thyme, Cumin, Coriander
Chicken pieces

Sautee potato and carrots till lightly browned, put aside. Sautee squash and put aside. Sautee eggplant, put aside. Sautee onions, then add garlic, then add bell pepper, then finally cilantro.

Brown chicken pieces in the same pan you cooked the vegies in. Then put the chicken in the clay pot, and put the following spices on top:
Thyme, Cumin, Coriander, Salt, and Turmeric.

Mash the tomatoes with some water/chicken broth, tomato paste, Arabic spice mix (or allspice/cinnamon if you don't have any), curry powder and black pepper. It should be fairly liquid, otherwise it just hangs out on top of everything.

Put 1/2 of the onions mix on top, then the vegies, then the chickpeas, then the tomato sauce, then the rest of the onion mix. Add 1/2 cup water/broth. Bake for 2 hours at low temperature.

And here's the final product:

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