My mother is over for a few days to spend some time with her grandsons and she is cooking some of hers most popular dishes. My youngest nephew particularly loves this one.
Use a pot where the chicken pieces fit in a single layer to get a good gravy.
- One chicken cut in pieces
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 bay leave
- 1/4 cup brandy
- Olive oil
- Brown the chicken in medium heat.
- Add onions and garlic keep cooking until brown.
- Add brandy and cranck up the heat until alcohol evaporates and the vigourous boiling ends and becomes a frying matter.
- Add water but do not cover chicken completely, turn down the heat and add salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Turn the chicken pieces and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Serve. It goes well with a green vinegary salad.
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
- Lightly brown the chicken legs in oil.
- Add onions, finaly sliced and cook until soft and starting to brown
- Add turmeric, four cups of water and salt and pepper to your taste. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
- Now add the pistachios to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Finely chop a bunch of dill, add to the pot and serve.
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
- Brown chicken pieces in olive oil. How dark should it be? If in doubt, give it another 5 minutes.
- When the meat is nicely browned, add the onion and let it cook until it darkens.
- Add water until it almost covers the chicken and cook for 30 minutes. Add salt.
- Add potatoes and cook for another 5-10 minutes (the time depends on the potatoes you use).
- 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.
The picture looks awful but it is a rich curry worth trying. It’s loosely based on a traditional dish called murgh badami.
- One chicken (or four chicken thighs) cut in pieces.
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 slice of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 25 chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- Ghee or butter
- Brown onions in ghee or butter.
- Add chicken, garlic, ginger, salt, chili powder and turmeric, and cook over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Add garam masala and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add yogurt and keep cooking for a minute.
- Add chopped almonds, put the lid on and keep cooking until chicken is tender.
- This dish will look a lot better using ground almonds.
- You can finish it adding some cream but I believe it’s already quite rich.
Quince has a hard flesh that makes it very suitable for slow stews because it doesn’t fall apart.
- A chicken, cut in pieces
- 2 onions
- 2 quinces
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 lemon
- Put everything but turmeric in the pot, cover and stew over low heat until chicken is tender
- Add turmeric and squeeze lemon over the stew, stir and cook for a few more minutes. That’s it.
It freezes well.
I cannot travel much nowadays. Even the shortest breakaway drains our stamina because of all the attention our two babies need, so we’ve decided to wait a little longer until our next trip. Instead, I let my imagination do the work through cooking books. The latest arrival was The Food and Art of Azerbaijan, with many one pot dishes like this one, which is called “Toyug-Límon Buglamasy” (Google cannot find anything by those words, by the way.)
Reading the simple everyday recipes the book is filled with paints a perfect picture of an ordinary Azeri family kitchen and that’s why I love it. This humble chicken stew is a perfect example.
- 1 chicken
- 3 medium leeks
- 3 small lemons
- Salt and pepper
- Cut the chicken in medium size pieces.
- Finely chop leeks.
- Cut lemons in half.
- Put all the ingredients in the pot, add salt and pepper to taste, cover with a lid and stew for 45 minutes. Serve with a green salad.
I’ve made it with stuff from the supermarket, but I will try next spring with home raised chicken, and leeks and lemons from a Mayka’s garden.
Called “pollo al ajillo” in Spanish, is a dish for garlic lovers who will nibble on the golden bits of garlic with pleasure. Add a green salad on the side and a slice of good bread.
It’s important to use thighs because chicken breast is too dry. Don’t be put off by the amount of garlic because a long sautéing mellows its pungency.
- 3 chicken thighs cut in 6 pieces each
- 9 cloves of garlic
- Bay leaf and clove (optional)
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
- Brown the chicken over medium-low heat. Stir often for at least 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice the garlic cloves.
- Add to pot once and stir until the garlic browns too. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon once in a while.
- Add a generous splash of dry white wine or water. If you want to add bay leave, do it know. Scrape. Reduce. Serve.
Cook’s reward: once the dish is done, the spoon used for scraping will have a mixture of garlic and crispy chicken bits of flesh and skin. Use a small piece of bread to grab as much as you can and enjoy.
- In step 1, if you sauté for just 20 minutes, chicken will be very tender and juicy but the skin will be kind of gross. If you keep cooking for another 20-30 minutes, the skin will fall off, crisp up and be a thing to die for.
- Use a free range animal.
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 3 choped cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- A generous handful of chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons of garam masala (or the curry powder of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 2 chopped tomatoes (I use canned ones)
- 2 large chicken things, cut in 4 or 5 pieces each.
- Gee, butter or vegetable oil
- Gently fry the onions, garlic, ginger and mint in a ghee for 3 minutes.
- Add the garam masala and turmeric and stir a little bit.
- Add yogurt and tomatoes and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken and cook until it’s tender. If the sauce is too watery (not all tomatoes and yogurt have the same water content), let it simmer uncovered until it thickens.
- Serve with rice, chapatis or dinner rolls.
This recipe tastes much better the day after.