With cold weather setting in once again, (funny how the seasons work and all that!) I thought now would be the time to add a warm sweet dish that is redolent of spices fruit and meat.
(Meat with Dried Apricots)
Chop meat in small pieces and boil. Put the broth aside. Cook the onions, fresh coriander, and spices until limp and until the meat browns and changes color and the onions have shrunk. Then take dried sweet-kernelled apricots and wash them in hot water for a while just until the pits can be easily removed with out damaging the apricots. Arrange them on the fried meat and add enough broth to cover them. Turn over every once in a while in order that the apricots are cooked very well. When they are cooked, add honey and lemon juice. If sour grape juice is available it is better then lemon juice because its aftertaste is distinct and sweet. Cook it until its broth has dried up. Add to it mint and fresh coriander. If lemon juice is not used then replace it with the sour grape juice to make it more potent. Add finely pounded spices, mint, fresh coriander and onions. Cook, simmer, and spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle on its both dried and chopped fresh coriander. If dry apricot paste is available, the king made in Byzantium or in Medina, this is better then (sweet-kernelled) apricots. (Ibn al-‘Adim, Kitab al-Wuslah ila al-Habib fi Wasf al-Tayyibat wa al-Tib/Salloum, pp. 80-81)
2 lbs chicken (beef or lamb) 3-4 C broth (enough to cover) 2 tbs olive oil
1 onion ½ C honey 2 tbs coriander 1 pinch saffron 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp ginger 2 tbs mint
¼ C lemon juice 2/3 C apricots
1 C sweet wine (red or white)
First things first, gather up all your ingredients.
Set your apricots in warm water (or wine) until they are soft and pliable.
Next take your meat of preference, here I used chicken thighs, pour the broth into a pot and add the meat Then boil for 10 minutes, just enough to lock in juices.
Drain the meat form the broth and set the broth to the side.
In a pan, add olive oil, chopped onion, spices and meat.
While the meat, onions and spices are browning, drain your apricots and add them to the pan.
Allow these to simmer until the broth is mostly cooked away. Towards the end (before all the broth has simmered away) add in more mint and coriander. Take a taste. If you need a little more honey add a spoonful or two. If you need a pinch of salt don’t hesitate to add just a touch. This is to your taste. Make it good!
This is a great dish either own it’s own or over cardamom rice. Take a bite, it is soooo good!