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Outstanding dinner

Have I mentioned that my sister is here? She arrived Wednesday and heads back to Italy tomorrow, but it’s such a treat having her as a short-term roommate. Her best friend from the age of 4 (who lives in Abu Dhabi with her hubs but is an American citizen and wanted to have her baby here; so they moved to DC for two months) had a baby girl last month and my sis wanted to spend time with her and the new parents (who are basically members of our family; we’re all close; it’s great) hence this pass through. This morning, we visited together which was wonderful. I cannot get enough of holding babies. How many times have y’all heard me go on about holding babies?? Seriously, it’s a balm. I looooove to hold those sweet, cooing bundles of warmth. Aah!

Anyway, last night, El, T and I stayed in, and I made us an outstanding feast: zucchini-feta fritters; a fennel, feta, sumac and pomegranate salad from Ottolenghi; and a roast chicken stew with preserved lemon, sumac, caramelized onions and Israeli couscous. We drank too much wine and stayed up too late, but it was great fun. Naturally, the boys chose today to wake up at 6 instead of the closer-to-7 they’ve been gifting us with lately, so I have now been up for 8 hours and am definitely feeling it.


chicken stew; zucchini-feta fritters; fennel, feta and pom salad


It is revolting out today- freezing rain sleeting down from a gray shroud of a sky. Ugh. Glad I am inside and just enjoyed scrumptious leftovers from last night’s meal.


2 Responses to “Outstanding dinner”

  1. Annie says:

    This stew looks amazing!!!! More details on how you made it??? Please!

    • Em-i-lis says:

      Preheat oven to 400. Butcher a 3 pound chicken OR get three pounds of chicken. Brown the pieces really well in a Dutch over or brasier. Remove and set aside but don’t rinse out the pan. Thinly slice two yellow onions and mash three cloves of peeled garlic. Add some olive oil to the pot and heat over medium. Add onions and garlic as well as at least a tablespoon of kosher salt. Caramelize the onions, adding some chicken stock if the pan gets dry. In the meantime, mix together three teaspoons of sumac, a teaspoon of kosher salt, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1.5 teaspoons ground allspice. When onions are caramelized, sprinkle 75% of spice mixture over them and stir well to combine. Chop some preserved lemon, maybe 2 tablespoons, and add to the pot. Sprinkle rest of spice mixture over chicken and nestle chx in onions. Make a well in center of chx/onions and pour in a cup of uncooked Israeli couscous. Add 1.5 cups of chicken broth, cover pot tightly and cook in oven 20-25 minutes, more if you need, until chicken is cooked through and couscous is fluffy and tender. Voila!

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