Ras el hanout chicken (2)
I bought some ras el hanout (couscous spice) from Birgit at The Spice Shop and have been messing about for ages finding recipes to use it in. It's a wonderful warm spicy mix, reminiscent of Arabian cuisine. I notice that Bart's Spices now produce one, but I doubt if it'll be as good as Birgit's!
This recipe is my variation on the original recipe, tailored to my taste and using ingredients available at the time. I can't help meddling with recipes!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed - or to taste
- 1 small head of celery, chopped, leaves as well if you have them
- 2 carrots, cut in half lengthways and sliced thickly
- 1 sweet pepper, any colour, chopped - I only had a half left.
- 310 g (11 oz) skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
- 3 teaspoons ras el hanout
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin seeds (white)
- fresh red chillies, chopped
- 1 large (400 g) can of plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 300 ml hot chicken stock (make from a Knorr stock cube if you wish)
- 1 large (410 g) can of chick peas or the equivalent amount of dried beans, cooked
- 1 teaspoon of dried parsley if no fresh is available.
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, add a good grind of black pepper to it and then add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and sweat them down for 10 minutes
- Remove and reserve.
- Increase the heat, add a little more oil if needed and brown the chicken strips for 4 minutes or so
- Stir in the spices, mix and continue to heat for a few more minutes
- Return the previously reserved onion mixture (from point 2) to the pan, add the tomatoes, sweet peppers, parsley, chillies, chickpeas and the stock. Season to taste with salt
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 25 minutes or so.
Serve with plain rice of couscous.