Turkish (or possibly Moroccan) chicken with saffron and almond couscous

Turkish (or possibly Moroccan) chicken with saffron and almond couscous

I have been back in beautiful, sunny SA for a few weeks now.  It is insanely lovely right now. Really. Like living in an HDR photo. Or maybe it’s just my new polarised sunglasses? Either way it’s crazy green and ridiculously blue and just gorgeous! I’m not sure whether to say I’m visiting, touring or home, because I’m not completely sure where we go next really. No wonder the gypsies were always a little miffed at the world. But I am loving it! My life feels a bit like an episode of the Amazing Race (a show I now realise I could never partake in as I would most certainly go postal when dealing with the airlines, will in all likelihood brain someone with one of those little posts used to contain the queues at an airport and then spend the rest of my life in jail. Also, at 35 years old I have been informed by my father that with my back I may not horse ride or go-cart, so there goes half the challenges too.). We spent a few days in the Kruger Park (more on that later) and are now lazing next to the banks of the the Vaal with G&T’s whilst feeding the fish using rods. There has been little time for blogging. And when there has been, I have preferred to use it to read – Kaalkop by Nataniël to be precise so at least I am getting my foodie fix in. Do yourself the favour. Anyhoo, to make up for the lack of posts, herewith a recipe for chicken that my mom made on my last visit home. The original recipe is from the Lifestyle magazine in the Sunday Times but as I was so busy nattering and gulping down ice cold bubbly, I took no notice of what she did really. So I had to sort of chuck in the flavours I remember. The recipe called for a whole chicken stuffed with couscous and took hours to make. This one is done in a jiffy and with drumsticks. It is therefore probably not remotely the same thing, but is a close enough approximation none the less!

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium onions, chopped

3 tablespoons oil

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 cup of raisins or sultanas

1kg chicken pieces

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

125ml chicken broth

2 or 3 tablespoons honey, depending on how sweet you like it

a few saffron threads, steeped in 2 tablespoons of hot water (essential! treat yourself!)

couscous for 4

half a cup of whole almonds, halved

 

1) Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan. Season the onions with salt and pepper and slowly saute until translucent and just, just heading towards a pale golden colour. Add the garlic and cook for another two or three minutes.

2)Transfer to an ovenproof dish big enough to hold the onions and all your chicken. Scatter the raisins over the onions.

3) In the same pan, brown the chicken pieces and place on top of the onions and raisins. Deglaze the pan with a little water and add the juices to the dish.

4) Add the remaining oil to the pan and turn the heat down a little. Add the spices and fry until they start releasing their fragrance. Hum a Bollywood tune. Add the broth, honey and saffron, heat for a minute or two more and pour over the chicken. Bake at 180ºC for 1 hour.

5) Prepare the couscous as per the packet instructions (use a bit of chicken broth instead of just water), stir in the almonds and serve with the chicken. The almonds add a beautiful texture to the dish that I have become totally addicted to!

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