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Old 05-15-2014, 12:41 PM   #1
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I was inspired by this recipe:

West African-Style Chicken and Fennel Stew Recipe | Yummly

because I picked up 3 fennel bulbs at a reasonable price yesterday when having a "foodie day" with TL in Montreal. I have sort of followed the instructions for the chicken (except I used 2 chicken breasts, added some cayenne pepper, coated the meat "chunks" and then tossed them in a zippy, added some hot-pepper infused EVOO, freshly squeezed tangerine + lime juice, garlic and purple shallot). While that is marinating, I toasted some chopped raw almonds with a dusting of cayenne pepper and plumped some dry figs. I'm not sure where to go with this...my thought is to serve the chicken on a bed of scented rice to which the plumped figs are added, maybe roast the fennel...serve with a side of a black chick pea-blond chick pea, roasted red pepper, garlic, lime juice + zest, hot pepper infused EVOO topped with the toasted almonds salad...homemade fresh pita bread...just not sure where I'm going to end up with this. Anyone want to come play in the kitchen with me?

I don't have enough "regular" cous-cous to serve it on a bed of that. I do have Israeli cous-cous. I do have saffron. I am thinking adding the fennel fronds to the chickpea "salad" and serving it on a bed of fresh greens...

This meal is for s/one whose mother passed away yesterday and likes spicy foods.

Steve-Addie-Roch-Andy-TL-PF-Alix-Dawg-LP-CG--anyone?
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:07 PM   #2
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Hmm, the bed of rice or the bed of Israeli cous cous sounds good. Maybe add the chickpeas to the rice?
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:47 PM   #3
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Oftentimes in African cuisine, the dish is served on a communal platter that's shared by everyone. No rice, or other starches, accompany the dish. Nor do they use silverware. The only thing that's present are traditional flatbreads (injera, chapati, etc) which are used as eating utensils. It's kind of a nice way to do something traditional AND save on dishes.

PS - You didn't add the Campbell's soup, I hope. That stuff is gross and wouldn't be an authentic African ingredient.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Oftentimes in African cuisine, the dish is served on a communal platter that's shared by everyone. No rice, or other starches, accompany the dish. Nor do they use silverware. The only thing that's present are traditional flatbreads (injera, chapati, etc) which are used as eating utensils. It's kind of a nice way to do something traditional AND save on dishes.

PS - You didn't add the Campbell's soup, I hope. That stuff is gross and wouldn't be an authentic African ingredient.
No Steve, I didn't add the Campbell's soup. The influence stopped at fennel bulb.

This is what I ended up doing.

I marinated the chicken as mentioned above. While that was happening, I grilled most of the fennel. Set that aside. For the "salad" I combined:

16-oz. "yellow" chick peas
16 oz. black chick peas
1 purple shallot, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c black olives, sliced
4 radishes, sliced thin
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 roasted yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 c cucumber, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 c finely chopped fresh fennel
3 T finely chopped fennel fronds
2 green onions, chopped
Tossed in the plumped figs
Dressed with hot pepper infused EVOO, Meyer Lemon infused EVOO, Palm vinegar, aldersmoked salt, a bit of cayenne, and black pepper, topped with sliced hard cooked egg and lemon zest. It is very tasty. I have a pic, but can't find my cable to upload the pic to my computer. Now to finish the rest of the meal. Or should I stop here?????? Nay, better deliver a full meal...decided not to make pita. It is too hot and humid to fire up the oven. I think I'll use the almonds on the chicken...

Oh, I'm not making a stew, I was just inspired by the recipe.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post

PS - You didn't add the Campbell's soup, I hope. That stuff is gross and wouldn't be an authentic African ingredient.

Now, now, Steve, it IS a Campbell's Soup recipe. Nothing wrong with some cream of something, though I don't think I've ever had the French onion, at least not plain.

Interesting recipe, CWS, not all ingredients that I've had a lot of experience with.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:01 PM   #6
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Hmm, the bed of rice or the bed of Israeli cous cous sounds good. Maybe add the chickpeas to the rice?
Good idea, TL. I ended up making a 2-chickpea salad. The black chickpeas have a firmer texture and a slightly different flavour, btw. I definitely like them. I cooked them in a pot on the stove since I was too lazy to go get the pressure cooker out of the basement and was busy chopping and dicing. They didn't take much longer than the "yellow" (beige) ones. I did soak them for 24 hours first. And, they don't have skins! I have enough leftover to make hummus tomorrow.

I added the rest of the tangerine + lime juice (about 2 tsp) to the chickpea salad. I love chickpeas and now I have two kinds of chickpeas to love!
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:06 PM   #7
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Now, now, Steve, it IS a Campbell's Soup recipe. Nothing wrong with some cream of something, though I don't think I've ever had the French onion, at least not plain.

Interesting recipe, CWS, not all ingredients that I've had a lot of experience with.
Is it a Campbell's soup recipe? I was just looking for inspiration re: fennel-chicken-chickpeas that wasn't Italian and didn't involve pasta...
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:08 PM   #8
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Is it a Campbell's soup recipe? I was just looking for inspiration re: fennel-chicken-chickpeas that wasn't Italian and didn't involve pasta...

Yup, says so in your link!
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:14 PM   #9
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...Interesting recipe, CWS, not all ingredients that I've had a lot of experience with.
Like Dawg, I don't use some of the ingredients you put to use. I got nuthin'. Your end result sounds good...for a cold day in February! Glad you enjoyed it.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:14 PM   #10
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Yup, says so in your link!
I skipped over the soup and decided I could play with the flavours and omit the soup. I wasn't looking for a stew recipe just something that used the ingredients I had because I didn't want to make a trip into town! Obviously, the chickpeas ended up going in a different direction, as did the chicken! I guess I better get off my butt and grill the chicken so I can report back on the entire dish. The toasted almonds are going on top of the chicken.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:18 PM   #11
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Like Dawg, I don't use some of the ingredients you put to use. I got nuthin'. Your end result sounds good...for a cold day in February! Glad you enjoyed it.
It is a hot and humid day in May. The salad is very refreshing. I am thinking of adding some frozen corn to it next time. The chicken will be served on a bed of cous-cous (found a stash) with grilled fennel as the side. So it is not a stew, rather grilled chicken on cous-cous, grilled fennel and a 2-chickpea cold salad.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:20 PM   #12
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Like Dawg, I don't use some of the ingredients you put to use. I got nuthin'. Your end result sounds good...for a cold day in February! Glad you enjoyed it.
I am curious what ingredients you guys don't use? The only things I bought were the fennel bulbs and the hot pepper infused EVOO. One could just use EVOO and some hot pepper flakes or a chopped hot pepper...and omit the black chick peas and use black beans.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:21 PM   #13
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Well then, that works for me! I'll be there in 6 hours - what kind of wine should I bring?
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:24 PM   #14
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A nice dry white would be nice, CG!
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
I am curious what ingredients you guys don't use? The only things I bought were the fennel bulbs and the hot pepper infused EVOO. One could just use EVOO and some hot pepper flakes or a chopped hot pepper...and omit the black chick peas and use black beans.

Black chickpeas, fennel, and figs haven't met my kitchen yet. I think your combo is very creative!
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:53 PM   #16
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No Steve, I didn't add the Campbell's soup. The influence stopped at fennel bulb.

This is what I ended up doing.

I marinated the chicken as mentioned above. While that was happening, I grilled most of the fennel. Set that aside. For the "salad" I combined:

16-oz. "yellow" chick peas
16 oz. black chick peas
1 purple shallot, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c black olives, sliced
4 radishes, sliced thin
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 roasted yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 c cucumber, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 c finely chopped fresh fennel
3 T finely chopped fennel fronds
2 green onions, chopped
Tossed in the plumped figs
Dressed with hot pepper infused EVOO, Meyer Lemon infused EVOO, Palm vinegar, aldersmoked salt, a bit of cayenne, and black pepper, topped with sliced hard cooked egg and lemon zest. It is very tasty. I have a pic, but can't find my cable to upload the pic to my computer. Now to finish the rest of the meal. Or should I stop here?????? Nay, better deliver a full meal...decided not to make pita. It is too hot and humid to fire up the oven. I think I'll use the almonds on the chicken...

Oh, I'm not making a stew, I was just inspired by the recipe.
Salad pic:
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:03 PM   #17
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Looks luscious, CWS! And that sure ain't no stew!
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:04 PM   #18
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Looks great! Sorry I wasn't around to play!
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:54 AM   #19
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I am curious what ingredients you guys don't use? The only things I bought were the fennel bulbs and the hot pepper infused EVOO. One could just use EVOO and some hot pepper flakes or a chopped hot pepper...and omit the black chick peas and use black beans.
Not the items, but the way you used them. Cayenne pepper on almonds? Never crossed my mind. Figs? If I'm not eating them out-of-hand they'd better be in Newtons. Never heard of palm vinegar, nor black chick peas - although they will be found and tried! BTW, that salad looks great!
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:15 AM   #20
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Not the items, but the way you used them. Cayenne pepper on almonds? Never crossed my mind. Figs? If I'm not eating them out-of-hand they'd better be in Newtons. Never heard of palm vinegar, nor black chick peas - although they will be found and tried! BTW, that salad looks great!
Thanks. Here's everything plated--forgot to put the egg on the salad before I shot the pic:
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