ARABIA LEVANT NORTH AFRICA (EUROPE)
This is a variable feast across the Arab world, every home and restaurant with its own interpretation, always personal, acutely traditional.
Because it is one of the most popular dishes from the Levant to the Maghreb and from the Gulf to the Mediterranean, only the method is constant, the ingredients except the chicken are quixotic.
This is our interpretation.
We have used orange juice as the liquid medium but thick tomato juice (or tomatoes pulped) will achieve the same effect.
- 1.5 kg chicken, jointed into legs and thighs, breast meat, wings and carcass cut in two
- 6 oranges, juiced
- 125 g raisins
- 1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
- 30 ml olive oil
- 12 whole red chillies
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp saffron / turmeric
Arrange the breasts and leg-thighs on the bottom of a large casserole dish (or one of each in two tagines). Place the wings on top followed by the pieces of carcass.
Cover with orange juice flavoured with saffron or turmeric.
Push the garlic cloves, raisins and red chillies into the gaps between the pieces of chicken. Add some olive oil. Season with black pepper, cumin seeds and salt. Marinate for several hours.
For the casserole dish bake uncovered in a hot oven (220ºC) for 60 minutes. Remove from oven, leave only the breast meat, leg-thigh meat and wing meat in the dish, baste with the orange-oil liquid. Reduce heat to 180ºC, place back in the oven, cook for 15 minutes.
For the tagine pot cook over a medium heat until the chicken is cooked.
Serve with long grain rice, garnish with cilantro and parsley, drizzle with three or four spoonfuls of the orange-oil liquid.