Make dinner a family affair with Dubai-based chef and cookbook writer Suzanne Husseini's recipe that incorporates the Slow Food concept of local, clean and fair produce in preparations.
Croutons 2 large loaves pitta bread 1/4 cup peanut oil
Yoghurt Sauce 3 cups full fat yoghurt 2 cloves garlic, mashed Sea salt
Chicken Layer 10 garlic cloves, mashed Salt and pepper 1 whole chicken (1 kg) 2 tbs peanut oil Juice of 3 lemons
Rice Layer 3 tbs clarified butter 2 cups short grain rice, presoaked, drained 1/2 tsp turmeric Sea salt 4 cups water
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, to garnish 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, to garnish 1/4 cup toasted almonds, to garnish
Split the pitta loaves and cut into bite-size squares. In a large skillet heat the peanut oil and fry the bread squares until crisp and golden. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.
In a bowl mix the mashed garlic and yoghurt and salt to make a sauce and put aside
Take the 10 cloves of mashed garlic and rub all over the chicken getting under the skin. Season with salt and pepper. In a large enough pot, heat the oil and place the whole chicken to brown all over. Pour in all of the lemon juice. Bring the heat down to a simmer, cover and leave the chicken to braise until it falls off the bone for about 40 minutes. Remove all of the skin and bones and discard. Reserve the meat in its lemony sauce.
While the chicken is cooking, it is a good time to make the rice. In a pot heat the clarified butter and stir in the drained rice. Add the turmeric and salt. Mix well to coat each grain. Pour in the water to cover the rice by 2 cm. Allow to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and leave to cook undisturbed until the liquid is absorbed. Leave covered until ready to serve.
To assemble the fatteh d'jaj, place some of the croutons in a serving platter, followed by a layer of the hot rice. Mound the chicken with its lemony sauce on top. Drizzle the yoghurt sauce over everything and garnish with the toasted nuts. Serve immediately.
For more recipes and information about the book visit Husseini's facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/suzannehusseini?ref=ts&fref=ts