1 Tbs. walnut
1/4 tsp. Near
East or Aleppo pepper
1. To make the
chicken and sauce: Wash the chicken and pat dry. Trim off
excess skin and fat.
2. Heat the oil
in a 5-quart casserole. Add the chicken and 2 teaspoons of
the chopped garlic; sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and
saffron. Cover with 1 quart water; simmer until chicken is
tender. (Slow, gentle coking helps to keep the chicken
toast the flour in a 9- or 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet,
turning it constantly until it becomes a lovely light
beige. Add the Near East pepper and allspice, and continue
stirring over low heat 30 seconds longer. Remove from the
4. Skin, bone,
and cut the chicken quarters into smaller serving pieces.
Lightly season with additional salt and black pepper if
desired. Strain the chicken broth and degrease. You should
have 3-1/2 cups. Mix the remaining garlic with 1 cup of
the broth and pour over the chicken to keep it moist.
5. In a food
processor, grind the walnuts and seasoned flour to a
smooth paste. Slowly add 1 cup of the chicken broth and
process until smooth. Then slowly add the remaining broth
to make a creamy sauce.
6. Scrape the
sauce into the skillet, set over medium-low heat, and
bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
7. Drain the
chicken pieces and place in one layer in a
9-by-13-by-2-inch ovenproof serving dish. Add 1 cup of the
walnut sauce and the lemon juice; mix well. Thin the
remaining sauce with water to a napping consistency and
correct the seasoning with salt. Pour the sauce over the
chicken. Let the mixture cool completely, cover with
plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 days before
8. To make the
red-tinted oil: Gently reheat the cooked chicken in a 350°
F oven until warm. Heat the walnut oil in a very small
saucepan, add the Near East pepper, and swirl to combine;
heat just to a sizzle. Remove from the heat and allow the
pepper to settle. Dribble the red-tinted oil over the
surface of the dish, making decorative swirls.
For the best
flavor, begin preparing this dish at least two days in
advance of serving; this chicken improves with time. It
keeps up to a week in the refrigerator if carefully
covered. Serve warm, not hot, with a simple bulgur or rice