We have been very lucky to have teamed up with Free to Feed for their takeovers this year, and it's crazy to think this will be the last one until 2021. Riyama is taking us through how to cook her Fatteh Jaj, aka Chicken Fatteh.
From the pantry or the Hagen’s veggie box:
1 dried lemon
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
10 cardamon pods
5 cups of boiling water or reserved poaching chicken stock
500gm basmati rice , washed and soaked
1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
100gm of ghee
1 tsp of ground turmeric
2 cups of vegetable oil for frying
3 pieces of pitta bread
50gm of pine nuts
3 sprigs of parsley
3 sprigs of mint
1 tsp of ground black pepper
1 tsp of baharat spice
For The Tahini Sauce:
1. Boiling the chicken and cooking the rice: Place a pot of water on the stove and add the chicken breast & thigh fillets, bring to boil skimming the top to remove impurities. Add dried lemon, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamon and onion quarters & 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the lid on the pan and cook for about 40 minutes or until chicken is almost falling apart.
2. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and set aside to cool, reserving the liquid.
3. Wash rice in warm water and soak for 15 minutes, then drain. Place a pot on the stove, add ghee and heat until bubbling. Add the drained rice and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add boiling water or reserved poaching liquid from the chicken. Add turmeric & 3 teaspoons salt. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to very low and cook for about 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.
4. To make the tahini sauce: crush garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar & pestle until a smooth paste forms and add 1 spoon of the poaching liquid. Place yoghurt into a mixing bowl, add tahini, whisk until well combined. Add garlic & salt to the yoghurt, whisk to combine. Add juice of 1 lemon, whisk to combine well. (If the sauce is quite thick, it can be thinned down with more poaching liquid, you are after a pouring consistency similar to tomato sauce). Set aside.
5. Frying the nuts and pitta bread: Heat oil in large fry pan until hot (the oil has reached the correct temperature when you carefully place a small piece of bread into the oil and the oil starts to bubble around the bread). Cut the pita bread into 3 cm squares. Carefully add the pita bread to the hot oil and fry until golden brown ( about 1 -2 minutes), stirring the bread often to ensure consistent colour. Remove bread onto a tray lined with a kitchen towel to drain excess oil. In a frypan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil until hot, toast pine nuts, stirring constantly until light brown, remove and set aside. Repeat process in the same oil with almonds – set aside.
6. To assemble the dish: Break the chicken into large pieces. Heat the frypan you used to fry the nuts in, add the chicken, Baharat & black pepper, stir to coat the chicken and cook for several minutes. Remove from heat. Place fried pita bread on the bottom of the serving dish and sprinkle with 100ml poaching liquid from the chicken. Top with the cooked rice, evenly covering the pita bread then place the chicken on top of the rice and pour over the tahini sauce, coating the chicken pieces. Sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts and almonds and garnish with chopped parsley & mint sprigs.