Cooking with Mahia: Moroccan Chicken with Fennel Recipe
Posted on 8th of November, 2012 by Lévana
Tinkering with the Wonderful Mahia by Nahmias et Fils
This recipe is ideally simple, and amply expresses the way we Moroccans love our food, and everyone loves Moroccan food. Side dish? Never heard of it! The vegetables cook right along with the chicken, and are integral part of the dish. Even the most recalcitrant anise-licorice-fennel diner will warm up to this underused flavors (underused only in America, alas, I hasten to add) after they taste this chicken!
Please note I have not listed salt in the ingredient list, as I start out with Kosher kitchen, which is pre-salted in the process of Koshering, the secret of its succulence. Likewise I have no fat anywhere in the dish; rather, I leave the skin on, which contributes great flavor and texture; you can always discard it in your plate, once it has done its job.
If you decide to use all chicken breasts and no dark chicken parts, then add ¼ cup olive oil to the preparation and proceed with the recipe as instructed.
8 serving pieces chicken (I count 2 pieces per person, for example: 6 thighs, 6 drumsticks, 4 half breasts—16 pieces total for 8 people), with skin on
2 teaspoons turmeric
3 whole large heads fennel, fronds and stems minced, heads cut in thin wedges
3 cups water
¼ cup Mahia
2 tablespoons lemon zest
Ground white pepper to taste
Place the first set of ingredients in a wide heavy pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the flame to medium and cook covered for about 1 hour. Transfer the chicken pieces onto a platter with a slotted spoon. Add the Mahia and lemon zest to the pot, and check the liquids. If the sauce is not thick enough, reduce it on a high flame, uncovered, just a few minutes, (watch this stage, making sure the liquids don’t evaporate) until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the vegetables and the sauce over the chicken. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.