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Berbere Sephardic Chicken

“This is a recipe from the Jews of Spain, dating way back to the 15th century. But I chose more of an Italian theme with the pungent flavor of olives, and the umami of tomatoes (pleasant savory taste). Then, I added our Ethiopian Berberé spice…. and it finally became very well-rounded, and a beautiful marriage of flavors.

You can serve it with rice, or some other grain, but I prefer pasta because it gives it that sort of “feel” of the Italian braised dish.

This is also akin to the Italian hunters dish called cacciatore, but without the mush-rooms. What else do I like about it? It’s really good, it’s really easy, and it's what I cook at home." ~Chef Abraham Risho

  • 1lb chicken thighs, 3” x ½” strips

  • 4T Berbere

  • 2t salt

  • 2T flour

  • 4T extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, sliced thin

  • 2T garlic, sliced thin

  • 4C tomatoes, whole, peeled

  • 2t Dijon mustard

  • 1C green olives

  • 12oz fresh pasta, penne

  • 4Q boiling salted water

  • 4T Romano cheese, grated fine

  • 2T parsley, chiffonade

  • 2T salt & pepper CHICKEN

  1. In medium mixing bowl, thoroughly combine Berberé, salt & flour.

  2. Dredge chicken strips in mixture for an even coat. It should use all the flour, but if it doesn’t, set mixture aside for later.

  3. In heavy cast iron skillet or wok, heat XVOO on medium-high.

  4. Sear chicken until brown on each side. Remove chicken from pan.

  5. Add onions and garlic into same hot pan, stirring into the oil.

  6. Place chicken on top of onions and garlic.

  7. Place wax paper lid securely into pan, allowing steam to release, but not heat.

  8. Simmer on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until onions are soft.

  9. Stir together chicken, onions & garlic.

  10. Add tomatoes, Dijon and green olives.

  11. Stir again, adding remainder of flour from chicken (if any).

  12. S&P to taste, but you shouldn’t need any.

  13. Cover with paper lid again.

  14. Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. PASTA

  1. Bring salted water to rapid boil.

  2. Add fresh pasta, stirring frequently until al dente (firm, not hard) about 5mins (more or less depending on thickness of pasta [penne=5-6min]).

  3. Leave pasta in pot, pour-off water off except 1T.

  4. Add finely grated Romano, dash of S&P, fine chiffonade parsley, 1T xvoo. Mix well.

  5. Arrange pasta on plate, spoon chicken & sauce on top, then garnish with fresh greens.

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