It is now time for the main course and your guests are waiting anxiously. It is always good to serve more than one entrée for your guests to enjoy. Leg of Lamb is a traditional choice for a Middle Eastern meal and this chicken dish is delicious as well as aromatic. On a large platter serve Moroccan Chicken Tangine with Honey and Apricots and the traditional Middle Eastern salad, “salata arabi“. It is cold and its texture is crunchy adding another layer to the meals dimension.
After the appetizers and the heavy entrée your guests are now in the mood for something light and cool to the palate. Fresh fruit topped with a yogurt citrus sauce and either a Turkish coffee demitasse or any strong cup of coffee will send your guests home satiated and satisfied. If you want to serve a sweet pastry, try the cashew fingers at Leon’s International. Phyllo dough is wrapped around chopped cashews that have been dregged in honey and rose water…so good!
Click on the Atlanta Wine Pairing Examiner’s Part II of his Middle Eastern series and read his choices for wines to go with this meal.
Moroccan Chicken Tangine with Honey and Apricots
• 6 lbs chicken pieces
• 1 large yellow onion
• 1 – 2 T olive oil
• ½ t turmeric
• 1 – 2 t salt
• 1 t black pepper
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 lb dried apricots
• 8 T honey
• 2 t ground cinnamon
• ½ C peeled almonds
• 1 T sesame seeds
Put olive oil in a large pot or tangine. Sauté the chopped onions until soft, then add the chicken, salt, pepper, turmeric and cinnamon sticks. Add enough water to cover the chicken, about two cups. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the chicken is done, adding water if necessary. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot. Add the apricots and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Add the ground cinnamon and the honey, stir and cook until the sauce has a honey-like consistency. (Add more honey if necessary.) Sauté the almonds in oil and drain them.. Toast the sesame seeds. Return the chicken to the pot and reheat. Place the chicken on a serving tray and pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle the chicken with the almonds and sesame seeds. Serve with couscous
• 6 Kirby cucumbers (also known as salad cukes)finely chopped
• 4 medium tomatoes finely chopped
• 1 bunch green onions chopped
• 1 bunch flat leaf parsley finely chopped
• ½ C freshly squeezed lemon juice
• ¾ C extra virgin olive oil
• 1 t cumin
• 1 t kosher salt
Combine the vegetables together and toss in dressing. Serve cold.
Seasonal fresh Fruit with a Yogurt Citrus Sauce
1 C plain yogurt
¼ C honey
½ t lemon zest
½ t lime zest
2 t lemon juice
2 t lime juice
Mix all the ingredients together and serve with or over fresh fruit.