Jul 26, 2012

K-dra Djej or Chicken with Onions and Chickpeas Tajine\Tagine

My sister took one bite of this dish and declared that it was wonderful.  Then my neighbor's grandson ate what my sister and I couldn't eat.  This made me feel good. He said that he liked it a lot as he emptied the plate.  This dish is a Berber method of cooking chicken with a large amount of smen.  I added a couple of ingredients for taste. 


1/4 cup of smen or a combination of olive oil and smen or clarified butter
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika
a pinch of saffron
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 lbs of chicken, quartered
1 cinnamon stick
2 cans of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 TBS parsley, chopped fine, extra for garnish
1 1/2 TBS cilantro, chopped fine
1 1/4 cups of water

In a dutch oven place the smen and put the pot on medium heat.  Add half of the onions and cook for about 5 minutes.  Then add the chicken, parsley, cilantro, bouillon cube, and the rest of the onions.  Turn the chicken so that it browns on both sides.  Then add the water, cover and cook for about 45 minutes.  Drain the garbanzo beans and rinse them under cold water.  Some people like to soak the beans in cold water so that the skins can be removed.  I prefer to forego this step.  Add the beans to the chicken mixture and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the beans are tender.  The Berbers take the chicken out of the pan and fry it to give a crispy texture.  This is an optional step.  I prefer to take the skin off at the beginning of the cooking process.  Serve with lemon wedges and crispy bread.  Enjoy!