Chicken, Olive and Lemon Stew


 This recipe serves


  • 6 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken thighs ( about 25 ) trimmed of excess fat Chicken, broilers or fryers, thigh, meat only, raw
  • kosher salt Salt, kosher
  • ¼ cup olive oil Oil, olive, salad or cooking
  • 3 large yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic peeled and crushed Garlic, raw
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric Spices, turmeric, ground
  • 2 tsp ground cumin Spices, cumin seed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander Spices, coriander seed
  • 3 small dried red chilies stemmed and crumbled
  • 2 3" cinnamon stick
  • 2 fresh or 1 dried bay leaves Spices, bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 quart low salt chicken broth
  • 4 lemons,zested and juice
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, canned
  • 2 cups pitted green olives, such as manzanilla
  • 3 tbsp chopped f rsh mint or coriander
  • 3 cups couscous Couscous, cooked
  • 3 cups chicken broth Soup, chicken broth, canned, prepared with equal volume water, commercial
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter Butter, without salt
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads, crumbled Spices, saffron
  • salt Salt, table
  • ¼ cup olive oil Oil, olive, salad or cooking


Step 1

Season chicken all over with 2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. In batches brown the chicken well all over, about 3 minutes per side. As each batch is browned remove from the pan so you do not over crowd the pot. It will take about 4 batches. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and garlic. Cook until soft and golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander,chiles cinnamon sticks and bay leaves and cook stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the chicken broth, lemon zest and 1/2 C lemon juice. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Return chicken and any juices to the pot. Carefully stir in chickpeas and olives. Increase heat to medium high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened somewhat and the chicken is cooked through, 6-8 minutes more. Stir in 1 Tbsp of the remaining lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over Saffron Couscous, sprinkle with cilantro or mint. Saffron Couscous: Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 350F Put the couscous in a 9x13 inch baking dish; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth, butter saffron and 1 tsp salt over medium -high heat until the butter is melted and the broth is hot. Pour the mixture over the couscous and mix well. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the liquid has been absorbed by the couscous, 10-12 minutes. Let sit at room temperature, covered for 5 minutes. Drizzle the olive oil over the couscous. Using a fork or your fingers, gently mix to coat the couscous in the oil and break up any clumps. Transfer to a serving dish. If not serving immediately loosely cover and keep warm for up to 30 minutes.


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