chicken number two: moroccan chicken with almonds and apricots (aka ayam mishmish)

Mercy. Where has the time gone?

Oh, right. There were some revolutions in some places and things got a little frantic. That plus a road trip, several snow days and life in general have all added up to several chickens cooked and none of them blogged. But that all changes now.

mishmish...also known as apricots

Chicken Number Two: Moroccan Chicken with Almonds and Apricots

This recipe is adapted from the classic Traditional Moroccan Cooking: Recipes from Fez by Madame Guinaudeau. Her recipe calls for raisins, but I had none, plus I had all these dried apricots, so I used them instead (apricots are mishmish in Arabic, which is much more entertaining to say than the word for raisins anyhow). Really any dried fruit will work in this situation.

You’ll need:

1 whole chicken, gizzards removed, rinsed
Generous handful dried apricots
2.5 ounces chopped almonds
3 ounces cornmeal or semolina
Butter
Generous pinch of Ras al Hanout (Moroccan blend of spices; if you don’t have any, try blending cumin, pepper, and a touch of cloves for a very approximate approximation)
2 tsp powdered cinnamon, divided
1 tsp black pepper, divided
2 T honey
Pinch saffron threads
1 onion
1-2 tsp ginger

almond joy

First make the stuffing: fry the almonds briefly in butter then mix with the cinnamon (1 tsp), ras al hanout, pepper (1 tsp), honey, and saffron; mix in the apricots, semolina/cornmeal, and honey.

Stuff all this inside the chicken.

In a large, heavy pot, put butter and oil, a sliced onion, ginger, and the rest of the cinnamon and ginger, and cook on medium high till onions begin to turn translucent.

Lay the chicken inside and fill with water or broth till it comes halfway up the bird; cook on medium high. When it starts to boil, add a little butter.

After an hour, turn the chicken over and adjust liquid to ensure at least half the chicken is submerged.

After a second hour, your chicken should be done; add a little extra honey and adjust spices just before serving. Towards the end let most of the liquid boil off. If the honey is too sweet, add a little pepper to counterbalance it.

chicken just before cooking

After two hours of this business, that meat should just be falling off the bone.

chicken just after cooking yumumumumgrumghhhumchompchompyum

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