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  Egyptian Recipes         www.  
Chicken Molokhia

Egyptian-Style Chicken And Molokhiya

2 pound chicken parts
1 small onion, quartered
spice packet: 1 stick cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon mastic, 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  and 3 cardamom pods wrapped in cheesecloth
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups water
pinch sumac
pinch dried thyme
olive oil

1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
pinch of ground cinnamon
14 ounce package frozen Molokhiya (available at Middle Eastern grocers)
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground coriander

2 pita breads, cut into triangles and toasted until brown in the oven
2 cups freshly cooked white rice

Place the chicken, onion, spice packet, and 1 teaspoon salt in a
4-quart casserole. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover and
cook at the simmer for 45 minutes, skimming from time to time.
Remove the chicken to an oiled baking pan, sprinkle with a pinch
of sumac and thyme; moisten with < cup broth and keep covered with
a foil tent.

About 1 1/2 hours before serving, preheat the oven to 425 F.

Strain the chicken broth; discard the fat, measure the broth and
add more water if necessary to make 4 cups. Return to the saucepan
and bring to the boil. In a skillet heat the butter to sizzling,
add the garlic and 1 teaspoon salt and the coriander and fry,
stirring, until the texture is sandy and the color brown, but not
burnt. Add to the boiling broth and cook over medium heat for 15

An hour before mealtime bring soup to a boil, add frozen molokhia
and cook uncovered over medium heat until it completely defrosts,
without undue stirring. (If using fresh or dried molokhiya, see
note to cook.) Makes about 3 cups sauce. Meanwhile, set the chicken
in the oven to brown. Make the onion-vinegar-cinnamon dressing and
let stand 30 minutes.

To serve in layers in individual cereal bowls: place toasted pocket
bread triangle on the bottom; add a few spoonfuls of plain rice,
the chicken, a ladleful of sauce and top with a spoonful of the
onion-vinegar-cinnamon dressing.

Notes: One-half pound dried molokhiya can be substituted for fresh
or frozen: rub the leaves between hands until finely crushed. Forty
minutes before serving, rinse quickly in a strainer, drain, soak
in enough hot broth to cover for half an hour, then add to the
boiling soup and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.

If using fresh molokhiya: Rinse and carefully dry. Use a mezzaluna
or half-moon chopper to finely chop then set aside until ready to
add the last 10 minutes. Don't worry if it feels a little slimy to
the touch. (A food processor can be used for the chopping.) Add
the fresh molokhiya to the boiling soup, immediately reduce heat
and cook, uncovered, (to retain its green color) for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat the moment it begins to boil.

Seeds for growing molokhiya are available at some Middle Eastern
grocers in the spring.

Serves 4


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