Saturday, April 15, 2017

Ghormeh Sabzi with Chicken

This is the first Iranian recipe I have tried ever.  The Iranian new year, Nowruz, just happened in March.  I saw a few Persian recipes floating around the internet in anticipation, and I decided to give one a try.

I must have Iran on my mind, because I went to an Iranian restaurant for my birthday.  Anyway, Nowruz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Caucasus, Balkans, Central Asia, and Western Asia.  It is on the vernal equinox.  

The holiday has Zoroastrian origins.  It is a secular holiday for most of the people who celebrate it now, and is celebrated by people of different faiths.  Nowruz is a Persian word and means new day.

People celebrate Nowruz by cleaning their homes, gathering with family and friends, and dressing in new clothes.  There are symbolic things that people place in their homes during this time.  People prepare a haft-seen table, which consists of seven things that start with the letter s.  

Each of the seven items has meaning.  For example, the table has Sumac, which represents the spice of life and Sabzeh, spouted wheat grass, which represents renewal and rebirth.

They will also often have a mirror, to remind them to reflect on the past year.  They have colored eggs  to represent fertility.   I wonder if that is where western cultures got the idea for colored eggs at Easter.

I found this recipe for ghormeh sabzi on a website called Tasting Table.  I had to buy the dried fenugreek leaves and dried Persian limes on Amazon.  Most recipes called for fresh fenugreek leaves, but I couldn't mind fresh fenugreek leaves anywhere.

The ingredients are 3 tablespoons canola oil, 1 1/2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, 1 large onion, 12 scallions, 2 cups minced parsley, 1 1/2 cups minutes cilantro, 4 cups chicken stock, 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves, 5 dried black Persian limes, 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, and pita bread.

I cubed the chicken and browned it in the canola oil over medium high heat.  I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper.  After browning the chicken for about ten minutes,  I removed the chicken to a bowl.

I finely cubed the onions and added them to the skillet.  I added the turmeric.  I cooked this for six minutes and stirred regularly. 

I minced the green onion, parsley, and cilantro.

I added the minced herbs to the onion.  I cooked this until the herbs were wilted.  This took about five minutes.

I added the chicken back into the pot.  I also added the chicken stock, dried fenugreek,  and dried limes.  I let the stew simmer for about 25 minutes.  Halfway through the cooking time, I punctured three of the limes.  

After 25 minutes,  I added the drained and rinsed kidney beans,  I let the stew simmer for another five minutes.

I garnished each serving with additional parsley and cilantro.

I don't have this pictured, but I ate this stew with pita bread.

This was a hearty and flavorful stew.  

 It was very herby and fresh.  The flavors were bright and fragrant.

The chicken water tender.  The broth had a little acidic bit.  

 It was savory and delicious.

It made a toothsome and satisfying meal.

 I can't say if the stew was authentic or not, but I can say it scrumptious.

I would make this recipe again, and since I have half a pound of dried fenugreek leaves, I may very well end up making another batch.

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