I love all kinds of Middle Eastern food and I’m always looking for new and interesting recipes. There is something about all of the wonderful fresh herbs and spices that I find irresistable. I came across this one when I was looking at some other recipe and like a magpie, my eye went to the shiny new object – in this case cooking with fenugreek and Persian limes. Whenever I am trying a new recipe, I try to find several versions of it and take what I like best from each of them. I didn’t actually do that here since this was such an unfamiliar recipe for me. However, I did note that many of the versions called for using lamb or beef stew meat, which I might try another time. Chicken is, of course, considerably less expensive than either lamb or beef and is also good if you are staying away from red meat. Meat will also have a longer cooking time. I would advise using the chicken thighs, however, as they are more flavorful than the chicken breast and also less prone to drying out. For just me and my husband, I am serving this with my version of a Jerusalem salad. If I am serving this to guests, I would serve several Middle Eastern salads and some warm pita or other flat bread.
Ghormeh Sabzi (Chicken and Kidney Bean Stew) from Tasting Table by Jake Cohen
Yield: 4 servings
3 tablespoons canola oil
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
6 ounces (12 medium) scallions, minced
2 cups minced parsley, plus more for garnish
1½ cups minced cilantro, plus more for garnish
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
Two 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
Pita, for serving
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add to the pot. Cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
2. Add the turmeric and onion to the pot, and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the scallions, parsley and cilantro, and cook until wilted and dark green, 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and add the chicken stock, fenugreek leaves and dried limes.
3. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until the chicken is tender and the liquid has reduced, 25 minutes. Halfway through cooking, pierce 3 of the limes with a paring knife.
4. Add the kidney beans and cook until warmed through, another 5 minutes. Divide the stew between bowls and garnish with more parsley and cilantro. Serve with pita on the side. This is actually a very light dish and when making it again, I would serve it over rice.