(Meat with Carrots and Raisins)
This dish can be made with any type of meat i.e. beef, venison, duck etc. I chose to use chicken as it was conveniently in my freezer when I came across this recipe.
For the original translation:
The way to make it is to cut up fat meat medium then throw it in the pot with a little salt and water to cover. Boil it and take of its scum. When it is nearly done, throw on chopped up onions, which you have washed with warm water and salt, and peeled carrots from which you have removed that which is inside them (viz. the woody core). Throw on dry coriander, cumin, cinnamon, mastic and pepper. Then take the necessary amount of black raisins and pound them fine, then macerate them by hand and strain them. Take two parts of their juice and one part of good sharp vinegar, and throw them in the pot. Pound some walnuts and macerate them with the mentioned juice, and throw them on it. Crumble bunches of dried mint onto the pot. Leave the pot on the fire to grow quiet and take it up, after wiping its sides with a clean cloth.
(Rodinson, pp. 318)
8 chicken thigh 1 medium onion 2 cups carrots 1 tsp salt
½ tsp ea. Ground cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and pepper corns
1 cup walnuts 1 cup black raisins 2 tbs vinegar 2 tbs dried mint
(*Note: if using preserved raisins from the redaction, Zabb Wa-Nana, no extra vinegar, mint or cinnamon will be needed)
For the actual cooking part, I took the chicken cut into pieces (any meat cut into pieces will do) and placed the pieces into a pot and covered with water. I only covered 1 inch over the meat and added the salt.
This should be a thick, almost dry stew, not a soup. Think some thing that is thick enough to sop up with bread or scoop up with fingers. When the chicken was almost finished cooking I added the onions and carrots.
The carrots I could probably have used to cut smaller even though I matchsticked (roughly) the baby carrots used. As can be seen the stew is thickening well as part of the water has cooked off at this point. In period, some carrots were considered very woody to the tasty and the core was cut out to prevent a dish from having the harsh tasteless part of a carrot included. Most of today’s modern carrots do not suffer from this problem.
This stage of the dish cooked for 10 minutes or roughly when the onions were translucent. I took the cup of preserved raisins, set them into my Cuisinart and gushyfied them. Also known as pounded to a pulp. (Yes, I cheated this historic part. I was not about to spend 20 minutes pounding wet gushy raisins into a paste by hand. I will for pepper corns and mustard seeds but raisins are right out.) The raisins then the remaining spices into the dish. I added the walnuts as well which really thickened the soup up by quit a bit. Cook for 5-10 more minutes then serve with a side of rice or couscous and pita bread!
This is actually a little soupier then I really wanted however the dish was really good and makes a great winter time type of stew.