a feast to feed an army and lucky chicken no. 7

It doesn’t seem quite right to be talking about chicken during Eid but I often fail to get things quite right and I think I’d better get this recipe down before I forget it.

as usual: lots going on

I picked up this recipe last week in Morocco, but it’s hard to believe I’d never jotted it down before. I’d like to call it something like Jama3iyya Chicken* because it’s a recipe I’ve seen most at large meetings, trainings, or visits in the spaces of Moroccan community associations (jama3iyyat). It’s similar to your Moroccan chicken tagine, but pared down a bit, so if you have to cook for 40 people, and not in a fancy-wedding kind of way but in a working-lunch kind of way, you can do it and still serve your chicken in a tasty zesty sauce.

Jama3iyya Chicken

Adapted from the ladies in Idoukais

You’ll need:

However much chicken you need to feed however many people you’ve got
2-3 onions per chicken, sliced thinly
2-3 tomatoes per chicken, diced
Fake yellow food coloring (actually this is important)
Cilantro, chopped
Green olives
A goodly amount of olive oil

chicken in action

Throw all of these things together in a pot. Cover everything with imik n waman (literally “a little water,” but really add enough so that the liquid comes halfway up the chicken but no more).

Cover and cook “till it’s done.” I’d use a meat thermometer to be safe but they say an hour or so, turning the chicken and adding water as needed.


That’s it.

You can now go feed the multitudes! Seriously, I’ve seen this done in enormous pots that fit many and multiple chickens. It always comes out beautifully.

i think the magic is in the yellow food coloring.

*The 3 is internet-code for the ᶜayn, an Arabic letter that you make by saying an “a” then squeezing the muscles in your throat. This is satisfying to do and I recommend it.

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