Chicken with Chickpeas - Djej bil Humous
by Daniel Rogov
Sort through the chickpeas, cover with water and soak overnight. In a small bowl, make a paste using half the garlic cloves and 1 tbs. salt. With this mixture, rub the chicken inside and out. Let stand 10 - 15 minutes and then rinse the chicken under running water and pat dry. In another small bowl, combine the ginger, pepper and remaining garlic and grind to a paste. Add 2 Tbsp. of water and mix well. Rub the chicken inside and out with this mixture, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Drain the chickpeas, rinse well and place in a saucepan. Pour over fresh water to cover, bring to the boil and reduce the flame. Cover and simmer until the chickpeas are tender (about 1 hour). Drain the chickpeas and pour over cold water to cover. By rubbing the peas lightly, remove and discard the skins.
Transfer the chicken to a lightly greased casserole and pour over any liquids remaining in the bowl. Add the saffron, turmeric, parsley, cinnamon, chopped onion and olive oil-margarine mixture. Pour over 2 cups of water (or stock) and bring to the boil. Reduce the flame, cover and simmer for 1 hour, turning the chicken 4-5 times. Remove the chicken and set aside to keep warm.
Add the sliced onion, cooked chickpeas and raisins to the casserole and cook until the onions are soft and the sauce has reduced to a thick gravy. Return the chicken to the sauce and heat through. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, transfer the chicken to a preheated deep serving dish, spoon over the chickpeas and sauce and serve immediately.
Daniel Rogov is the restaurant and wine critic for the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. He is also the senior writer for Wine and Gourmet Magazine and contributes culinary and wine articles to newspapers in Europe and the United States.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry and Rogov's Ramblings. Reprinted with permission.