If the van is a mo’ rockin’, don’t come knockin’ – Guy Fieri
Fall weather started in earnest today – the weather forecast which called for sunny and warm temperatures, instead turned out to be gloomy and grey all day long. That might sadden some, but for me it signalled the official start to the “stew” season. To celebrate, I made an old family favorite, Moroccan chicken and chicken pea stew made with just picked baby turnips I found at the PDX farmer’s market. A cherished recipe, stolen long ago from the pages of Paula Wolfert’s 1973 classic cookbook, “Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco”. It took about 15 minutes to prep, 45 minutes to gently stew and all of three minutes to eat. A perfect dish for nights where you don’t feel like cooking.
Paula Wolfert has long been a hero of mine, and greatly inspired me in my cooking career. Her books are endless fountains of information, that easily translate the cuisine of Morocco skillfully enough for even a novice to try, while being tasty enough to inspire even the most jaded of professional chefs. I suggest you give this Paula Wolfert classic a try this week, you will end up wondering why you hadn’t made this incredible chicken dish before.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 chicken, cut into eight equal pieces
- 2 sweet onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch of saffron, finger crushed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 bunch baby turnips with greens
- 1 can chickpeas, juice and all
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Melt butter in a heavy pan over high heat.
- Cut chicken into eight equal pieces and brown in hot butter.
- Brown chicken on both sides then add sliced onions, white pepper, ground ginger,saffron, turmeric and sea salt.
- Cut baby turnips in half, chop turnip stems up and add to dish. Save greens for later.
- Add chickpeas, chickpea juice, chicken stock and lemon juice and let simmer for 45 minutes.
- Eat on it's own, or with a starchy side like couscous or rice. Really it is great on it's own.