November 7, 2003

Djaj Matisha Mesla

...which apparently translates as "Chicken with Tomatoes and Honey." This is a Moroccan tagine.

Djaj Matisha Mesla
from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

3 1/2 - 4 lb chicken, cut into quarters
3 TBSP peanut or vegetable oil
1 large onion, grated
2 pounds tomato, peeled and cut into pieces
salt and plenty of pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered saffron
2 TBSP clear honey
3/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted
2 TBSP sesame seeds, toasted

Put all the ingredients except honey, almonds, and sesame seeds in a large pan. Cook gently, covered, turning the chicken occasionally, for about 1 1/4 hours, or until the flesh is tender and can be pulled off the bone easily.

Remove chicken and continue to cook the sauce over medium heat until reduced to a thick sizzling cream. Stir as it begins to caramelize, and be careful it doesn't stick or burn. Now stir in the honey, return the chicken to the sauce and heat through. Serve hot, covered with sauce and sprinkled with almonds and sesame seeds.

Notes: I made this with four generously sized chicken legs, and since I didn't have the saffron on hand, I left it out. The work is in the waiting as the delicious scents fill the kitchen. But after a plate full of tender chicken, it was well worth it.

Posted by Jennifer at November 7, 2003 9:26 AM

Yum. Even missing the saffron, it was very tasty indeed, and it's well worth the wait.

Posted by: Michael at November 10, 2003 9:41 PM

looking forward to cooking this - even more looking forward to eating it! it sounds sooo lovely! thanks for the recipe! ^_^

Posted by: rachel at February 22, 2006 9:19 AM
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