Souk Chicken

Souk Chicken, or Market Chicken- I think the word ‘Souk’ is a little more appealing isnt it?

 I have given my Moroccan inspired chicken and rice dish that name because all the ingredients can be easily found anywhere- including a market ;). It also reminds me of eating Paella whilst meandering through the Portobello Market in Notting Hill, of course Paella has nothing to do with Moroccan chicken but I think it’s the fact that its a rice dish that I make that connection. I would definitely choose this as an alternative if it were available from one of the market food vendors.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken, thighs or drumsticks preferably without skin. For this quantity of ingredients I use 6-8 depending on size.
  • 1 cup of Long grain rice
  • Cooking oil – its personal preference here, so your choice what you used.
  • Chicken or vegetable stock- good quality concentrate dissolved in 500ml of water.
  • 1 Lemon, preferably preserved, but fresh is also just as good.
  • Olives- green (I used stuffed olives here as it’s what I had available in my fridge)
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 3 salad tomatoes
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic or 2 fresh cloves finely chopped
  • cardamom pods, about 8-10 (depending on how much you fancy them- I love them!)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • A sprinkle of paprika
  • A sprinkle of slithered almonds
  • A handful of fresh coriander

Method:

To begin preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius, ensure you have a roasting pan/dish in the oven so this can preheat at the same time. Boil your rice until it is 3/4 cooked- once it’s gets to that point take it off the heat but don’t strain any remaining water.  Whilst the rice is cooking you can chop up your onion, tomatoes and pepper, you can chop these roughly for this recipe and save your master chef knife skills for another time.

Heat a fry pan with a little cooking oil and add the onion to brown along with the chicken. If you chose chicken with the skin on I would recommend removing as much as possible- we like to be as health conscious as possible here, within reason of course. Once the onion and chicken has sufficiently browned to your liking remove from the heat.

Take your preheated dish from the oven, add a little oil and the garlic. Immediately transfer the browned onion and chicken and scoop in the 3/4 cooked rice along with any remaining cooking water.  Add the stock and tomoato paste (I like to add the paste to the stock and disolve them together before adding to the rest of the ingredients), chopped tomatoes and pepper. Dot the cardamom seeds around the pan and sprinkle the cumin, coriander and paprika across the top. Take a large wooden spoon and mix all of the ingredients together. Finally add the olives (as many or as few as you like- I’m quite an olive fan so I do go to town at this point) and cut your lemon into 1/4 and place strategically throughout the dish. Sprinkle with slithered almonds.

Now, cover with foil and place in the preheated oven. I usually leave it for about 45 mins before checking. If after 45 mins the rice has soaked up all of the stock remove the foil and leave for a further 15-20 mins, just to finish it off an leave the almonds to develop a crunch.

Serve with some fresh coriander on the back of a camel, of course.  Enjoy 🙂

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