Chicken Stew With Sweet Potatoes, Almonds and Apricots — Recipes for Health
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
Loosely based on an Algerian recipe from “Real Stew” by Clifford A. Wright, this sweetly spiced dish, with beta-carotene-rich apricots and sweet potatoes, is also evocative of recipes from the Middle East and Iran.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 to 8 chicken legs and/or thighs, skinned
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pound orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (or yams), peeled and cut in thick slices
Generous pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
2 cups chicken stock
3 ounces dried apricots, cut in half
1/3 cup (45 grams) untoasted almonds, blanched and skinned (see below)
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy casserole or deep lidded frying pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown for 5 minutes on each side. Remove to a bowl.
2. Add the remaining oil to the pot, turn the heat to medium and add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pot, for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the cinnamon, turmeric and ginger and stir together. Return the chicken to the pot, along with any liquid that has accumulated in the bowl. Add the sweet potatoes, saffron, chicken stock and salt to taste, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the almonds and apricots and continue to simmer until the chicken is tender enough to fall off the bone and the sweet potatoes are falling apart, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with rice or another grain, like bulgur.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Instructions for blanching almonds: Bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop in the almonds. Count to 20, then drain, transfer briefly to a bowl of cold water and drain again. Squeeze the almonds between thumb and forefinger to pop them out of their skins.
Advance preparation: This will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator and freezes well (the sweet potatoes will fall apart when you thaw and reheat).
Nutritional information per serving (4 servings, using 3 legs and 3 thighs): 485 calories; 21 grams total fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 11 grams monounsaturated fat; 115 milligrams cholesterol; 40 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 209 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 36 grams protein
Martha Rose Shulman is the author of “The Very Best of Recipes for Health.”