Sunday, 12 August 2012

Chicken Fattee for two fatties

After what seems like weeks of living off pitta bread, hummus and jacket potatoes, being told I was going to be shuttled off to Glasgow for work finally gave me the push I needed to cook something proper.
I love cooking and trying new recipes. But, like most enthusiastic amateur chefs, I have a long list of recipes I plan on trying, which never seems to diminish. The fact they all call for at least fifteen different ingredients doesn't help either. This recipe is called "Chicken Fatee", and is a recipe from a North African / Spanish restaurant called Moro in North London. It was featured in The Times last weekend and is available on the website ( - sorry, there's a paywall). I've adapted it slightly to keep down the amount of washing up and because I didn't actually read the recipe right to begin with!

Chicken fattee

This tastes quite unusual, with the cool yoghurt and crispy pitta against the warm softness of the rice and chicken. I'll definitely be making it again, but maybe slightly smaller portions next time!

Ingredients (serves 2 very hungry people)

4 chicken thigh fillets
splash of olive oil
scant 1/8 tsp ground cloves

For the sauce:
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 can plum tomatoes

For the rice:
100g basmati rice
1/2 onion
100ml chicken stock
1/2 can chickpeas

For the rest:
1 aubergine
1 pitta bread
1 tbsp melted butter
100ml greek yoghurt
handful parsley
handful pine nuts

1. Flatten out the chicken thigh fillets on a baking tray. Rub in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the ground cloves. Bake in the oven at about 200 degrees, for 10 - 15 mins or so, until cooked

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: thinly slice the garlic cloves and fry in a bit more oil. When browned (be careful, garlic burns easily), add the plum tomatoes and squash with a spoon or spatula. Add the cinnamon stick and leave to simmer.

3. Wash the rice until the water runs clear, then put in a pan and cover with just enough cold water to cover the rice. Put a lid on top and bring to the boil. While the rice is cooking, thinly slice and fry the onions until golden brown. Once the rice is nearly cooked but still al dente (15 - 20 mins - taste it), add the onions to the rice and fry for a minute or so, stirring all the time. Then add the chicken stock and chickpeas, and put the lid back on the pan.

4. Dice the aubergine into 3cm dice and fry in a little bit of oil until golden brown. Split open the pitta bread and spread with melted butter and bake for 10 minutes until brown and crispy.

5. Layer up! Break up the pitta bread and divide it between the plates, add some greek yoghurt on top, then the rice mixture, then the chicken, then the aubergine, and then the sauce. Top with torn parsley and the pine nuts. You might need to add some more salt, depending on taste.

And to finish: my view of Tower Bridge from Saturday night. Pretty awesome.

View while watching the Olympics in Potter's Fields

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