Recipe Index

Egyptian | Egyptian Chicken

Posted on February 2, 2012

This was tasty, although it took awhile to make and used lots of pans. I think next time I would take this idea and make it simpler. I would try seasoning boneless skinless chicken breasts or cutlets with the spice mixture and pan fry them. Then wilt some spinach in the same pan. See this recipe for an example of the method. I haven't figured out if I would make a sauce yet, but you get the idea. Don't get me wrong, this was tasty and had me humming "Walk Like an Egyptian", but it was time consuming. The recipe is actually called "Molokhia with Spiced Chicken" and is an Egyptian classic. Many versions can be found via an internet search. Molokhia is is dark leafy green that can be found at Middle Eastern markets. The article said that frozen spinach was a fine substitute, so I ended up using that. This recipe post is part of my Global Bites Project - Middle Eastern Cuisine adventure.

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Egyptian chicken


1 3 1/2-pound chicken

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 rosemary sprig

one 4-inch cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

one 14-ouce package frozen molokhia or two 10-ounce packages chopped frozen spinach

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

steamed short-grain rice, for serving


In a large, deep pot, cover the chicken with the onion, rosemary, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and 12 cups of water. Top with a small plate to keep the chicken submerged and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let cool slightly, then cut into wings, breast, thighs and drumsticks and pat dry.

Strain the broth into a heatproof bowl. Skim off the fat. Return 2 cups of the broth to the pot; reserve the remaining broth for another use. Add the molokhia to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, using the side of a knife, mash the garlic to a paste with1 tablespoon of the coriander. In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the garlic paste and cook over moderately high heat until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape the paste into the molokhia and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of coriander with the ground cinnamon, cumin, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chicken all over with the spices. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chicken and cook over high heat, turning once, until golden and heated through and the skin is crisp, about 4 minutes.

Mound rice in the center of 4 or 5 shallow bowls and top with the chicken. Ladle the molokhia around the chicken and serve.


(Ref. "Molokhia with Spiced Chicken", Food and Wine magazine February 2012.)