Saturday, January 10, 2009

JOHN CHUCKMAN'S SAVORY MIDDLE-EAST STYLE STUFFED PEPPERS

CHUCKMAN’S SAVORY MIDDLE-EAST STYLE STUFFED PEPPERS

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups Dry Couscous (Whole wheat or regular)

2 Cups Chicken Broth for Couscous (You will obtain this from the Chicken you cook)

1 Cup or more Chicken Stock for Sauce (You will obtain this from the Chicken you cook)

2 medium Onions

1 or 2 Carrots

4 Legs and Thighs of Chicken

Chatta – Pepper Paste from the Mideast (This is not hot, it is savory - available at any Middle East grocer)

4 Large Green (or Red) Sweet Peppers

Oil – for frying

1 Tablespoon Corn Starch (dissolved in a small quantity of water – for moderately thickening Sauce)

Tomato - a handful diced

METHOD:

Simmer Chicken pieces in a large saucepan of water until flesh easily pulled off.

Take out Chicken and let cool a bit. Set aside liquid (your Stock).

To prepare Couscous, boil 2 Cups of Stock (liquid from cooking Chicken), add dry Coucous, stir together, cover, and remove from burner. Couscous is ready in 5 minutes.

When cool enough to work with, shred Chicken meat, removing skin.

Finely slice or dice Onions and grate Carrot. Saute in a frying pan. Add several Tablespoons of Pepper Paste. When Onion is soft, add shredded Chicken and just warm through.

Stir together Chicken, Onion, and Carrot mix into prepared Couscous.

Halve and seed Green Peppers. Place on small baking sheet (covered with parchment paper, or oiled), or use Pyrex casserole dish, oiled. Pile up with Couscous mix. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about an hour.

Prepare Sauce on stovetop. Use desired quantity of Chicken Stock, adding several Tablespoons of Chatta paste, a quantity of chopped Tomato, and a generous sprinkling of dry parsley. Add Corn Starch and water mix. Simmer covered for half an hour.

Pepper filling will be lightly browned. Serve as is with Sauce on the side.

NOTES:

Also serve Yogurt on the side, if desired (very nice).

The Coucous/Chicken filling mixture is delicious on its own – a kind of West Asian fried rice.


OTHER INTERESTING INGREDIENTS:

For the Couscous/chicken filling include: pieces of thinly sliced lemons that have been quickly sautéed, sliced (canned) artichoke hearts, olives, or pistachios.

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