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Chicken W/ Caramelized Baby Onions & Honey (Djaj Bil Assal)

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“This was taken from "Arabesque" by Claudia Roden....<i>This is one of the classics of Moroccan cooking and this version, with shallots or baby onions, is sensational. The art is to reduce the sauce at the end until it is rich and caramelized. It is important to taste it in order to get the right balance between sweet and savory.</i> Preparation time is approximate. I have not made this yet. It is here for safe keeping... but it looks yum. :)”
1hr 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To peel shallots or baby onions, blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain, and when cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and trim the root ends.
  2. Sautee the chopped onion until softened in the oil over a medium heat in a pan or casserole large enough to hold the chicken pieces in one layer. Stir in the saffron, ginger, cinnamon, then put in the chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper, and turn to brown them lightly all over.
  3. Add about 1 cup of water and cook, covered, over a low heat, turning the pieces over, for about 15 min or until the chicken breasts are done. Lift out the breasts and put them to one side. Add the shallots or baby onions and continue to cook, covered, for about 25 minutes, or until the remaining chicken pieces are very tender. During the cooking, turn the pieces and stir the onions occasionally; add a little water, if necessary.
  4. Lift out the chicken pieces and set to one side. Stir the honey into the pan. Check the seasoning. You need quite a bit of pepper to mitigate the sweetness. Cook, uncovered, until all the water is evaporated and the onions are brown, caramelized, and so soft that you could crush them.(As they say in Morocco, "with your tongue".).
  5. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, spoon the onions on top of them, and heat through. A few minutes should be enough. Serve, if you wish, sprinkled either with blanched almonds fried in a drop of oil until they are lightly golden, or with toasted sesame seeds.

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