Tunisian One-Pot Dish as Spicy as You Like It
I prepared this dish last night, the recipe was in the New York Times. It was a bit complicated, BUT, BUT, it was delicious and I took some shortcuts that I will share with you. And we ate the leftovers tonight, even better! I’m going to write out the recipe the way I made it and not exactly as it was written. If you want the original please go to http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/dining/chicken-with-couscous-sauce-on-the-side.htm
4-6 drumsticks (next time I am going to use skinless)
3 cups canned chick peas (rinsed and drained)
1/2 lb small white turnips – peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 lb carrot sticks (or cut into 2″ batons)
1 small onion – peel, insert a few cloves. (I didn’t have any cloves so I used ground cloves, about 1 tsp.)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp coriander seed – I used ground powder about 1 1/2 tsp
1 tsp cumin seed – I used ground powder about 1 1/2 tsp
1 tsp caraway seeds – I crushed them between two spoons.
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and ground pepper
1 large onion – chopped to = 2 cups
6 garlic cloves minced
1 -2 TBS olive oil
ground cinnamon (recipe calls for 1 stick – too expensive)
Spicy green sauce (recipe below)
Cooked and buttered couscous or rice
Put the chickpeas in a medium sauce pan with about 5 cups of water, add bay leaf, and onion with cloves (or sprinkle the ground cloves into the water), season with salt. Bring to a boil and then leave to simmer while preparing the other ingredients.
Mix the spices together (cumin, coriander, caraway, cayenne pepper)
Rinse chicken legs and pat dry-season generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture on the chicken legs and rub into the meat.
In heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken legs and brown gently until golden, about 4 minutes a side. Remove legs and set aside. In same pot, add diced onions and a little salt. Let onions soften and color for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, and scraping up any brown bits. Add cinnamon and garlic and cook for a minute more.
Drain chick peas and reserve broth. I kept the onion in the broth. Return the chicken legs to the pot and pour in 4 cups of the chickpea broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook covered for about 25 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, carrots and turnips and cook, covered, for 15 minutes more. Let rest 5 minutes and skim excess fat. Serve with the broth, spicy green sauce and buttered couscous.
Spicy Green Sauce
1 preserved lemon or the grated zest of 1 lemon. I got a jar of preserved lemon at an Indian grocery store but I believe the zest would just as good, since the recipe calls for using only the skin.
1 garlic clove smashed with a little salt to make a paste.
1 or 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles, very finely chopped. Use less for a milder sauce.
1 cup of finely chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems
1/3 cup olive oil
3 scallions finely chopped
If using preserved lemon, remove from brine, rinse well and chop the peel in 1/16 inch cubes. Reserve pulp for another use. Put cubes aside.
In a small bowl, mix the garlic paste, chiles and cilantro in a blender or food processor, keep a small amount of cilantro out.
Stir in the olive oil, scallions and diced lemon or zest. Taste and add salt or more oil if necessary. Once sauce is made and in a small serving dish, you can mix in the rest of the chopped cilantro which gives the sauce texture.
This one-pot meal was excellent and even better the next day although we had eaten all the chicken the night before!
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