Middle Eastern Style Chicken Stew

We have recently got back from a lovely trip to Amsterdam. One night while walking along the beautiful streets of the Jordaan, looking for somewhere to eat, we passed the most amazing smell!

It was like something out of a cartoon where Tom and Jerry are hypnotised by the smell of freshly cooked food.

It was amazing, but when we got to the source it turned out to be a tiny corner shop Deli. We didn’t think we’d be able to eat there, so carried on looking but nothing could shake that smell, so we doubled back for a closer look.

Inside there were just 4 tables, but you could actually eat at the Deli, much to our delight!

The Deli was called Rainarai. As you walked in there was a large chilled cabinet full of vegetarian and meat dishes, with rice and cous cous, and spiced vegetables. You ordered 1 meat, 2 vegetables, with rice or cous cous. It was then heated, and served to you at your table. There were also locals calling in, where it would be placed in a takeaway box to be re-heated at home.

The menu changes daily, and is always freshly cooked. The flavours were incredible and it felt so fresh and tasty. I came home desperate to try cooking with similar flavours, packed with spices and heat but all simple, fresh and low fat.

Middle Eastern style Chicken Stew - The perfect Winter warmer

Rainarai takes it’s inspiration from Nomadic North African cuisine, it also reminded me of the Middle Eastern cuisine you see from chefs like Ottolenghi and Sabrina Ghayour. So when we got home, having picked up sniffles and a cold (no doubt from the flight) I decided to try a warming winter stew, which featured some of the ingredients used by these chefs.

Middle Eastern Style Chicken Stew - The perfect Winter warmer

This was exciting as I had been desperate to use my black garlic and pomegranate molasses, but had struggled to find a recipe to use them in.

This recipe is my own chicken stew recipe, adapted using flavours used by Ottolenghi. It’s sweet and sour (but not in the Chinese way) and slightly spicy too, so is a great Winter warmer!

If you don’t have all the ingredients at home, click the links above, which will take you to amazon where you can buy them. I earn a small commission from it, but had bought them myself previously, so it comes as a genuine recommendation.

I used my Sage Fast Slow Pro (which I LOVE) for this. I set it to high for 2 hours. But this could easily be cooked in the oven or slow cooker too. On the hob/oven I would cook for 2 1/2 hours and in the slow cooker I would cook for 4.

Middle-Eastern Style Chicken Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
With inspiration from the Middle East, using pomegranate molasses and black garlic. This chicken stew is the perfect Winter Warmer.
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts (or 6 chicken thighs would also work well)
  • 5 cloves of black garlic
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
  • 600ml chicken stock (I used 3 chicken oxo's in 600ml hot water)
  • 3 large white potatoes
  • 2 medium cooking onions
  • 2 heaped tablespoons raisins
  • 1 medium chilli or ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 inch chunk of ginger finely diced
  • 1 tin green lentils
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes and dice into roughly 1½ inch pieces (just more than a mouthful).
  2. Peel and dice the onions.
  3. Dice the ginger as finely as you can.
  4. In a casserole dish (or slow cooker/pressure cooker) place all the ingredients bar the chicken stock together, and mix so the vegetables and chicken are fully coated.
  5. Pour over the chicken stock and cook on a medium heat for 2½ hours (if using a slow cooker or pressure cooker see above for altered cooking times). Check regularly to make sure it isn't drying out, and add a dash more water if it is.
  6. Once cooked, take 2 forks and pull the meat apart and mix well.
  7. Serve, and enjoy!
I garnished with rose petals and pomegranate to make it look pretty and add extra sweetness, but this is optional.

Middle Eastern Style Chicken Stew - The perfect Winter warmer

About the Author Lisa

I'm Lisa and this is the Lovely Appetite blog. I’m always experimenting with recipes, hunting through cookbooks for inspiration or trying out new places to eat. Please browse the site and enjoy reading about my findings.

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