Chicken with Chickpeas

Egyptian Food and Recipes


Ferakh bil Hummus

This is a tasty and easy entre, something with which to impress your family and friends in the art of Middle Eastern Cooking. Chickpeas are synonymous with Arab cooking and their pleasures have even been recounted in the art of the Arab poet.


"You can talk of your many vegetables from Morocco to Cathay,

And talk of all the tasty food the kitchen smells betray,

But if youve never tasted chickpeas, youve nothing else to say,

For this delicious legume rules supreme from Cairo to Bombay."

* 4 tablespoons butter

* 3-5 lbs. Chicken pieces, trimmed of fat and cut into serving size pieces

* (I happened to have chicken breasts in my refrigerator)

* 2 medium onions, chopped

* 4 cloves garlic, crushed

* cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)

* 1 can chickpeas (19 oz or 540 ml)

* 1 - 2 cups water (I added 2 chicken bouillon cubes)

* 3 tablespoons tomato paste

* teaspoon allspice

* teaspoon chili powder

* Salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet, saut the chicken pieces in the butter over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Be sure to turn them several times, making sure that they brown evenly.

Remove the chicken pieces from the saucepan and set aside. Add the onions and stir-fry until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and coriander leaves and stir-fry again, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, including the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken pieces are well cooked. Serve hot over rice.

Serves 6 to 8.


Ultimate Hummus

This recipe popped up on the inside of the packaging of some certified organic cilantro that I purchased at my favorite supermarket. This hummus is easier and tastier than most of the recipes I have tried that are from Middle Eastern cookbooks, and so, I wanted to share it with you.

* 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

* 1/3 c. tahini

* c. lemon juice

* c. olive oil

* 3 cloves garlic

* c. fresh cilantro, chopped

* teaspoon turmeric

* teaspoon salt

* teaspoon black pepper

Put everything in the food processor or blender. Blend thoroughly, scraping down the sides as needed. Serve with pita bread. Scallions, roasted red peppers, etc, may be added for additional seasoning.


A Fool for Fuul

Last month we looked at Tamiyya, the "hamburger" of the Middle East, which is made from large fava beans. Fuul, or Fuul Medammis, is one of the most popular dishes in Egypt that is made from Fava beans. It is commonly served for breakfast, from street vendors with steaming idras, or pots, of tender fava beans seasoned with olive oil, spices and hard-boiled egg.

* 1 c. dried small, fava bean, soaked overnight and drained

* olive oil

* salt & pepper to taste

* teaspoon ground coriander

* teaspoon cumin

* c. lemon juice

* 2 cloves garlic, crushed

* 4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled

* 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Place the fava beans in a pot and cover with water; then cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour until they are very tender, adding more water if necessary. Drain the beans, and place in a mixing bowl; then add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, pepper, ground coriander, cumin, lemon juice and garlic and mix well until some of the beans are slightly crushed. Transfer to 4 soup bowls; then place an egg in the center of each plate. Sprinkle each plate with the remaining oil; then garnish with the coriander leaves and serve.