Moroccan Chicken Stew Print Email

A kdra is akin to the long-cooked North African clay-pot dish known as a tagine. This version is adapted from one by Paula Wolfert in her book Couscous and other Good Foods from Morocco.

1 3 1/2-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces,
skin removed
1 cup blanched whole almonds
1/4 tsp. turmeric or saffron
1 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. ground dried ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 TBS smen (see note, below) or butter
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained
2 TBS fresh lemon juice

Combine chicken, almonds, turmeric, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and smen in a medium pot over medium heat; cook, turning, 3–4 minutes. Add half the onions and broth; boil. Reduce to medium-low; cook, covered, for 30 minutes.

Add remaining onion and parsley to chicken; cover and cook until chicken is very tender, 25–30 minutes. Remove chicken; set aside. Bring sauce to a boil; cook until thickened, 13–15 minutes. Return chicken to pot along with salt and chickpeas; heat through. Drizzle in lemon juice and serve. SERVES 4

Note: To make smen, cut 16 tbsp. unsalted butter into chunks; knead in a bowl with 6 tbsp. fine sea salt. Form butter into 8 patties; stack in an earthenware container and cover; set aside to let rest in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks. Melt butter in a pot over low heat, without stirring, removing foam, until clear, 20–25 minutes. Cool. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Repeat. Discard solids; spoon into a jar. Seal; store in a cool, dark spot for a month. Makes about 1/4 cup.

- Djej Kdra Touimiya, Saveur Issue #109