Thursday, May 10, 2012

Algerian Roasted Chicken with Mushroom and Olive Sauce

This might be more of a Sabrina creation than a traditional Algerian dish, but when it is this good, no one cares, right? But do note that you will need a pressure cooker.

Take each of these steps slowly. The generous time, slow heat and attention is what makes traditional cooking like this so rich and layered. The load of spices helps, too.

2 onions
1 generous tablespoon of each:
- salt
- pepper
- cumin
- ras el hanout
~ a spice mix that is all over the place in Moroccan and Algerian cooking. Should be findable
a fistful of parsley
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 chicken + another couple legs if you like
2 cloves garlic
lots of water
3-4 cups mushrooms
3 large tablespoons crème fraiche, or sour cream
1 can green olives

4 potatoes to fry as as garnish, if you'd like

Hash one onion and grate the other. Add all your spices, the parsley and the oil and put it on medium-high heat for five minutes or so, until they start to clarify. Add a cup of water and grate in the garlic.

Add in the chicken and let cook for just a couple minutes and then add enough water to cover the chicken. Close the lid on the pressure cooker and cook for about 20 minutes after it starts to sing.

Open the pressure cooker, take out the chicken and put it in a pan to roast. At about 250ºC/230ºF until it browns.

Put the pressure cooker, with all the juices (sauce) back on the stove and bring to a low simmer. Add the chopped mushrooms to the sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked. Taste the sauce and simmer more as needed, reducing as you go.

Add in the can of green olives and the crème fraiche/sour cream on a low heat and let simmer so the flavors mix until all the pieces are ready to be assembled.

If you want the potato garnish (I loved it, but I'll be honest... I'm not very good at frying things...) peel, slice them and fry them.

When the chicken is browned and the sauce tastes delicious, you can assemble. Place the chicken on a large platter, pour the sauce over top. Throw the potatoes over top.

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