I stepped outside of my comfort zone this week and tried food new to my palate. Not anything too drastic mind you, but I have not eaten Moroccan food before this. According to Saveur, this kdra is a cousin to a tagine. I did not have a clay pot to cook it in , just my dutch oven, but I thought it turned out delicious. And since this was my first foray into this type of dish, I need some feed back from any of you, my readers, as too how authentic this dish is. My husband was so quiet while eating that I thought he must not like it, but he said he was just enjoying the new flavors. So, I'll be making this again and next time I'll try some other dishes to go with it! I cut the recipe in half for just the two of us, and changed a couple of other things. My store didn't have blanched almonds, so I had to blanch my own, but it's quite easy to do. I'll give you the directions for that at the end of the recipe. Be sure to use the fresh lemon juice if you try this recipe; it really freshens the dish and adds pizazz to the flavors. The turmeric added a golden hue to the sauce and the almonds. The sauce is mildly sweet because of the cooked onions and with a hint of cinnamon and a splash of lemon, it is very tasty. It was a rather exotic meal for us in this cold weather. Let me know what you think!
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MOROCCAN CHICKEN STEW (Djej Kdra Touimiya)
adapted from Saveur ( which is adapted from "Couscous and other Good Foods from Morocco")
1 3 1/2 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces- I used 4 thighs because I made half the amount
1 cup blanched whole almonds- directions at end of recipe
1/4 teaspoon turmeric or saffron-I used turmeric
1 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. ground dried ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons butter
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Combine the chicken pieces, blanched almonds, turmeric, pepper, ginger, kosher salt and cinnamon stick in the pot and cook, turning, about 3-4 minutes. Add half of the sliced onions and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 30minutes.
2. Add remaining onion and parsley to chicken; cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 20-30minutes. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Bring the sauce to a boil; cook until thicken 13-15 minutes. Since I halved the recipe, it took only about 5 minutes to thicken. Use your judgment with this. Return chicken to the dutch oven along with the chickpeas; heat through. Taste and add salt only if needed. Drizzle with the fresh lemon juice and serve. I served this dish with couscous, which soaked up the wonderful flavors of the sauce. Enjoy!
How to blanch almonds: Boil a pan of water; pour almonds into the hot water and soak for 1 minute. Almonds should be covered with the hot water. Drain the almonds into a colander, and then put almonds into cold water to cool them down. The skins will pull apart and slip off when you squeeze them between your fingers. Lay on a paper towel to dry.