Freitag, 25. November 2011

Arabian style chicken stew with dates and germinated brown rice

Today I prepared an arabian stew. I love the taste and smell of oriental dishes. This is how it looks:

small portion of stew and germinated rice

Usually you would prepare it in a clay pot called "tajine" but I broke the lid (I am going to make a wish for  a special new one this christmas, quite expensive..). Meanwhile a stew pot will do as well. And I cooked germinated brown rice which is absolutely not arabian, in fact it is japanese, but I have to add something healthy to our daily intake once in a while.

I took:
6 very small chicken breasts without skin and bones, cut in rough chunks
2 big onions, diced
8 big Medjool dates, dates from marocco: large, sweet and succulent
1 pointed sweet large bell pepper, cut in chunks
2 big carrots, sliced
1/2 lemon, juice and 3 bigger stripes lemon peel
1+ more teaspoon Ras el Hanut (arabian mixed spice)
1/2 teaspoon Garam masala (indian mixed spice) - this is not arabian but fits perfect
good pinch of Harissa (arabian chili powder)
1 cup chicken broth

1 cup germinated brown rice*
1 tablespoon currants or arionia berries
2 tablespoons peeled almonds, cut in sticks, toasted
1 pinch gloves, powdered
1 teaspoon butter or oil

First heat a pot with a little oil and roast onions and chicken chunks until onions turned translucent and chunks got a little colour. Add spices and roast just a few seconds longer. Add carrots, lemon peel, dates (without core) and chicken broth (and yes you don't need much liquid). Cover with a lid and let the stew cook about 1 hour on very slow heat (after 45 minutes add bell pepper in chunks). After 1 hour adjust seasoning and add lemon juice. This recipe calls for salted, pickled lemons, but actually I am not a fan of pickled lemons. The taste and smell is way too intense - reminds me on cleaning products for toilets. So I always use fresh lemons instead. Besides: The dates will get mashy and desolve during cooking and leave a sweet taste.
Meanwhile heat the germinated rice (freshly germinated, therefor soaked for a long time)  in a small pot with just 1 cup water, a pinch of gloves, currants and a pinch of salt. Let simmer on low heat until rice is plummed, soft, but not cracked, about 25 min - 30 min. Add roasted almonds and butter and cover the pot with a folded tea towel. Set the lid on top and let the rice rest 5 minutes more.

The stew is very good and more authentic with couscous or white long grain rice. If you don't like brown rice that is. But if you would like to try germinated brown rice, here is a "how to":

*) Germinating brown rice:
This is quite easy  if you have some equipment. Germinated brown rice is very healthy and delicious. If you can get hold on brown japanese rice give it a try.
To germinate rice you need a heat source where the rice can be kept warm during the germination process. It is recommended to germinate rice by a temperature of 34 C for 24 hours.
First wash the rice properly in cold water and don't forget to rinse 3 times to make sure it is clean as possible.
Afterwards fill the rice in the incubator - a heating device: I use a yoghurt maker with a 1 l pot I bought decades or so ago. Yoghurt makers with small glasses are of no use. It has to be one big pot.

Yoghurt maker germinating rice
I filled in an amount of 1 1/2 cups washed rice and added 2 cups warm water (40 C). I set the timer on 10 hours.  After 10 hours I rinsed the rice with warm water and gave it back into the yoghurt maker, added 1/2 cup of water only and set the timer on 10 hours again and let is rest 4 more hours without heating.
Afterwards I rinsed the rice with water and let it strain in the sieve for a few minutes.


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Thank you for your interesting post! The tajine has become quite popular in Japan, too. I don't have one, though.

And, you have a yogurt maker!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

They sell tajines in Japan too? The world is small.
If you consume a bigger amount of yoghurt a yoghurt maker is a nice device. Since the son left it doesn't make much sense anymore.

Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Tagines with silicone lids are now increasingly popular, as well as those made entirely made of silicone (both pots and lids), like the one here
The latter type can be used in a microwave oven only.

I wonder if tagines are overly expensive in Germany.

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

There are different types of tajines available - the difference makes the price: clay (very cheap in african food stores) the best if you cook on open fire as gas but I cook on induction (no open fire at all), silicone as in Japan, (micro wave and oven only), aluminium or steel pan with silicone lid (not all types of heat), whole cast iron (all types of heat), cast iron base with clay lid (all types of heat, very expensive but excellent water regulation). Prices range from 10 Euro to 140 Euro.

The trick of a tanjine: you may roast over fire for nice roasting flavors while the vulcano shaped dome lid supports steaming. The clay supports water regulation: first it will soak in all water and afterwards release it softly during cooking/steaming process while helping to keep moderate temperatures.

Sissi hat gesagt…

What a creative idea to combine a North African dish and geminated Japanese rice! it looks luscious!
Unfortunately I don't have a yogurt maker, but I will soon try making germinated brown rice in another way... Hiroyuki's advice looked very appealing!