Chicken Kdra with Almonds and Chickpeas is a Moroccan dish, where kdra plays a crucial role in it. Do you know what k’dra is? It is a certain type of tagine, cooked with the strong Moroccan butter called smen, a lot of onions reduced to butter softness, spiced with pepper and saffron, and usually “cut” at the end with a dash of lemon juice. An important equipment to cook this dish is the traditional cooking vessel, an earthenware pot with a tall conical top like a dunce’s cap. Steam rising from the simmering dish condenses in the top and falls back on the food, keeping it moist.
As with all stews you can cook this ahead and leave it in the fridge. You can serve it with couscous or rice.
165g blanched whole almonds
165g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
¼ teaspoon pulverized saffron (mixed with a little turmeric)
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
1large cinnamon stick 3 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons smen
1 chicken 1.5 kg, quartered, or 2 sets of chicken legs and thighs, or 3 squabs, or 6 Maroccan pigeons
2 Spanish onions, quartered lengthwise and finely sliced
900ml chicken stock or water, more if necessary
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
- Cover the almonds with cold water and simmer, covered, for at least 2 hours.
- In a separate saucepan , cover the soaked and drained chickpeas with fresh cold cold water, bring to boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Drain and submerge in a bowl of cold water. Rub the chickpeas to remove their skins. The skins with rise the surface. Discard them.
- In a large casserole combine half the saffron, salt, the spices, butter or smen, and the prepared poultry. Cook over low heat, without browning, for 2to 3 minutes. Chop 4 or 5 slices of onion finely and add to the casserole with the stock. Bring to the boil, add the drained, skinned chickpeas, and simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
- Add the remaining sliced onions and chopped parsley and continue cooking 30 minutes more, or until the poultry is very tender ( the flesh almost falling off the bone).
- Transfer the poultry to a warm serving dish. By boiling rapidly, reduce the sauce in the casserole to a thick gravy.
- Drain the almonds and add to the sauce, along with remaining saffron. Cook together for 1 to 2 minutes and spoon over the poultry. Sprinkle with lemon juice to cut the richness of the sauce. Serve hot.