This recipe is slightly adapted from Emeril on Foodnetwork.com. I thought his version could use more of the warm spices and less cilantro. (Of course, I'm not a big cilantro fan, so maybe I'm wrong about that. :-)) Anyway, it smells lovely, makes good winter comfort food, and has lots of good-for-you ingredients. I'll definitely be making it again. (It also makes quite a lot and I suspect it would freeze pretty well!)
Harira (Morroccan Chicken, Chickpea, and Lentil Stew)
1/4 pound dried chickpeas
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (including juice)
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 pound dried green lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Cilantro sprigs, for garnishing
Pick over the chickpeas, cover with cold water, and soak overnight at room temperature. Drain chickpeas and rinse well with cold running water. Drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add the chicken in batches, and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Add the onions and celery and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger, turmeric, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan and add the tomatoes and their juices, stirring well. Stir in the chicken stock, lentils, and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer for 1 hour.
Add the rice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and return the soup to a simmer. Cook covered for 45 minutes. Remove the lid, add the cilantro, parsley, and lemon juice and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Ladle into warmed soup bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.
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