Last weekend we had some friends over for dinner – one is visiting from Germany where she and her fiancé are living so it was a bit of a reunion. The weather was a bit wintry and I felt like cooking something warming. The answer was one of the most flavoursome dishes I know – Karen Martini’s Syrian Chicken.
A friend first made this dish for us when we were there for dinner, we loved it so much I got the recipe from her and it’s been a staple in our winter routine ever since. There’s a lot of beautiful aromatic flavours in it – spices, ginger, garlic, lemon and honey – basically you can’t go wrong!
Karen Martini’s Syrian Chicken – my method
For the original recipe go here. The method below leaves out a couple of ingredients as I didn’t have them (thyme, saffron threads) and I changed the way I prepared a couple of other ingredients and increased the amount of tomatoes.
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 14 chicken thigh fillets cut in halves or thirds
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 brown onions, thickly sliced
- 100 grams ginger grated
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with garlic crusher
- 2 small red chillies, finely chopped with seeds
- 5 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 100 grams currants
- 2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder
- ½ bunch coriander, leaves only
- couscous to serve
- Combine the salt, cumin, cinnamon, pepper and turmeric in a large plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces and shake to coat.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, adding a little more oil, if necessary. Add the tomatoes and cumin seeds and cook for 2 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pan and add the lemon juice and zest, honey, currants, stock powder and enough water to just cover the chicken.
- Cover with a lid and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through, and the sauce is slightly reduced.
- Stir in the coriander and serve with couscous.