Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Week 29 - Eid al-Fitr

I cannot believe how long it's taken me to post about the Week 29 challenge for Eid al-Fitr. The holiday, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, was way back in July, which was when I made this recipe for Moroccan style chicken with couscous from BBC Food. I found it on the BBC's main page on Eid recipes a few weeks before I made it (and wrote that down in my notes), but for whatever reason when I went back there in July to find it in the list of Eid recipes so I could link to it here, it was no longer there! Bizarre. Maybe they updated the page closer to the holiday to put in new recipes. Anyway, that's what I made and where it came from.

The ingredients, with a few adaptations, were:

- 1 large onion, chopped ($0.60)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced ($0.08)
- 10 oz water ($0)
- 1 spoonful of chicken bouillon ($0.30)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper ($0.05)
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts ($2)
- 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (with juices) ($0.75)
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon ($0.10)
- 1/2 tbsp ground ginger ($0.05)
- large handful of dried apricots, chopped ($1)
- 2 tbsp honey ($0.30)
- 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped ($1)
- 1/2 package of harvest grains blend ($1.50)

The total was about $7.73, which is a great price for dinner for 2. I had been planning to use regular couscous instead of this grain blend, but the store didn't have any couscous when I went shopping and I didn't have time to go elsewhere. I'm not sure how that swap affected the price.

I also modified the instructions a little bit. Here's how I made the stew:

1. Heat a little olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes.

2. Add the water and chicken bouillon and bring to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes to reduce a bit.

3. Add chicken (I sliced the 2 breast pieces into about 5 thinner pieces), tomatoes (with juices), ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and chopped dried apricots. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for an hour (stirring once or twice).

4. Make the grains while the stew is simmering. (We followed the instructions on the harvest grains blend package, so it took about 20-25 minutes total. Not sure how long regular couscous would take.)

5. Chop the cilantro while the stew is simmering.

6. After the hour is up, add the honey and cilantro, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring.

7. While stirring in the honey and cilantro, break up the chicken into smaller pieces. (Ours was at the point where it shredded really easily.)

8. Serve over couscous. Done! (I didn't get yogurt at the store because I had too much other stuff in the cart and it was a zoo at the store today, but I think it was fine without it.)

This was a really good stew. I was wary of the apricots, since I don't usually put fruit in savory dishes (although I've been doing it more and more with these challenges), but they actually added a nice light sweetness to the dish which was great. It's easy to make, and the only things we don't always have on hand are cilantro and apricots, so it's a pretty convenient dish. We would definitely make this again, maybe next time over "real" couscous.

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