Chicken k’dra with chickpeas, raisins and red peppersA Moroccan k’dra is a stew cooked in smen, the traditional fermented butter, in a large copper pot (a k’dra). The other feature of a k’dra is a large number of onions used in the dish. It is best served on its own with a little bread, and some wedges of lemon to squeeze over it.
- 1 chicken, about 1.5 kg, jointed into 6 pieces
- 175 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of water and drained
- 6 onions, finely chopped
- 1–2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 pinches of saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 red peppers
- 3–4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3–4 tablespoons raisins or sultanas
- 2 tablespoons ghee, smen or butter
- Leaves from a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Crusty bread, to serve
Put the chicken in a large heavy-based casserole. Add the chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the chopped onion, cinnamon sticks and saffron and season with salt and pepper. Pour in enough water to cover the chicken and chickpeas by about 2.5 cm and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour, checking the water level from time to time.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Put the peppers in a baking dish and pour over the oil. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until tender and the skin has buckled slightly. Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off the peppers, cut in half lengthways, remove the stalk and seeds and cut the flesh into strips. Set aside.
Check the chicken and chickpeas, both of which should be tender, and add the rest of the onions with the raisins, butter and half of the parsley. Cover and cook gently for a further 40 minutes, until the onions have almost formed a purée and there is very little liquid left in the casserole.
Arrange the chicken joints on a serving dish and spoon the chickpea mixture around them. Scatter the strips of pepper over the top and serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread or Plain, Buttery Couscous.