Chicken, pistachio and dill

This is a recipe from a Persian cookbook I don’t like very much but not completely useless with some interesting dishes like this one: simple, pretty and flavorful.


  • 4 chicken legs, cut in two
  • 2 onions
  • 1 cup of shelled pistachios, soaked overnight
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • Oil, salt and pepper
  1. Lightly brown the chicken legs in oil.
  2. Add onions, finaly sliced and cook until soft and starting to brown
  3. Add turmeric, four cups of water and salt and pepper to your taste. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Now add the pistachios to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Finely chop a bunch of dill, add to the pot and serve.
Lambi with cous cous

Lamb with cous cous

Do not confuse with cous cous with lamb. It’ a different thing well worth a try. Instead of steaming cous cous the traditional way and then serving it with a stew, we cook everthing in the same pot. The tricky part is adding the right amount of water and pasta. According to the Egyptian recipes book I have, it should be nor dry, nor soggy. It’s easier to go short on the water and add a little bit more if it looks dry.


  • Two small legs of lamb (or veal shanks)
  • Two onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup medium sized cous cous
  • Grated sharp sheep cheese
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  1. Cut the meat in bit sized cubes and brown thoroughly.
  2. Add onions and cook in medium for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  3. Add water or vegetable stock and gently boil until the meat is tender (about 1 1/2 hour.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add cous cous and cook for 5 minutes. Cover the pot and let it stand another five minutes and then check. If it looks too dry, add a bit of hot water, stir with a spoon and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
  5. Stir to break the big lumps of cous cous. Add cheese. Serve and enjoy.
macaroni, potato and chicken stew

My mom’s macaroni and potato chicken stew

A dish beloved by my sisters, sons and nephews. What can you say about it when you see three generations enjoying this simple recipe?

Use as much olive oil as your conscience allows you. It brings everything together.

  • Half a chicken cut in bit sized pieces (for a big mouth, if you ask)
  • An onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup macaroni
  • 2 medium floury potatoes, cubed
  • A mild flavored olive oil
  1. Brown chicken pieces in olive oil. How dark should it be? If in doubt, give it another 5 minutes.
  2. When the meat is nicely browned, add the onion and let it cook until it darkens.
  3. Add water until it almost covers the chicken and cook for 30 minutes. Add salt.
  4. Add potatoes and cook for another 5-10 minutes (the time depends on the potatoes you use).
  5. Finish the dish adding macaroni, covering the pot, cooking for another minute or two and let it stand for another 10.

The trick here is to add the right amount of water so we do not end up with a watery sauce. It should be thickish and with just the right amount to make it whole instead of just a mix of ingredients with no character. Pasta and potatoes do not always soak up the same amount of water. You should adjust to what you use.