Thursday, March 6, 2008

Syrian Chicken Recipe

The original recipe is served with couscous, but I used white rice instead. Somehow, the colour of mine is not as beautiful as the original photo in the magazine. It was a lovely golden colour with hardly any sauce whereas mine is more of a yellow colour. Wonder what went wrong. :P I do not highly recommend this recipe but if anyone is game enough to try it, it might turn out better than mine. I thought it was only so-so. I was attracted to it because of the use of apricots and figs.

Ingredients -

1 tsp sea salt or table salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsps flour
400 g boneless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts)
40 ml olive oil
1 onion, sliced thickly
50 g gresh ginger, peeled and cut into thick strips
2 cloves garlic
5 sprigs thyme
4 tbsps lemon juice - I think maybe 3 is enough but I've not tried the original Syrian chicken so it might be a sour dish. However, my own preference would have been a little less sour.
1 preserved lemon, roughly chopped - I omitted
2 tbsps honey
1 cup dried apricots
4 dried figs, chopped roughly
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth (use canned)
1/2 cup white wine

For the couscous -

500 ml chicken or vegetable stock (use canned)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup currants or raisins
1-1/2 cup couscous (we used a rice cup for measurement)
Handful of chopped coriander leaves

Method -

1. Combine salt, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, turmeric and flour in a plastic bag. Add chicken and shake bag to coat the pieces with the mixture.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan over a high flame. When hot, add chicken and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.

3. Add onion, ginger, garlic to the same pan and cook for 2 mins. Add thyme and cook for another 2 mins.

4. Return chicken to the pan and add lemon juice, preserved lemon, honey, apricot, figs, stock and wine. Cover with the lid and simmer over a low flame for 10 mins. Uncover and simmer for 15 mins. Keep warm.

5. To prepare the couscous, bring stock to a boil with cinnamon sticks and oil.

6. Add currants and couscous, stirring till it returns to a boil. Remove from stove and cover for 5 mins. Stir in the coriander leaves before serving. Serve hot with prepared chicken.

Note - I can't comment on the couscous recipe as I did not try it.

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