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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jijeh Mehshieh (Stuffed Chicken a la Tortosa)

This post is dedicated to Katia (I promise you a more romantic one, loool)

I have settled adequately into my Ramadan routine. It's really simple come to think of it, minimum talk and/or contact with the rest of the human race, that's all I ask for. At work, I hate talking on the phone or having to hear office chitchat. You know I'd rather be left alone. I don't like smiling or being agreeable. Well I pretty much hate everything in the morning. Later on in the day, I can close the door, be by myself and relieve the rest of the world of my grumpiness. You got the idea didn't you? I'm not much fun in Ramadan so just …. The phone rang for the hundredth time. Ohhh, I'm really mad now...



"HELLO."
It was my son, “Hi dad, I have a good recipe for your blog.”
“What is it Fares?” I asked, restraining myself from being too opprobrious.
He loitered with his words, “Mum is stuffing a chicken and I'm helping out. Do you want me to take pictures?”
"Sure why not,” I wanted to hang up, “is that all?” My mouth gaped in a rictus of annoyance and dudgeon.
“No there's Fatteh too”, he said unnecessarily.
I was on the brink of desperation, “no I meant do you want something else before we hang up.”
“Ahhh not really, although it would be nice seeing that big smirk on your face now. Bye dad!!!” He hung up.



Oh damn it, I really didn't want to smile. It's so out of my character at this hour of the day in Ramadan. But here it is anyway, Jijeh Mehshieh (Stuffed Chicken a la Tortosa), all photos taken by Fares.



Ingredients:
1 whole naked chicken
200g ground beef
1 cup long grain rice
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt (or per taste)
2 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ mixed spices (whatever)
½ cinnamon powder
½ oregano
2 laurel leaves



Preparation:
-Heat oil in pot and stir the ground beef until golden brown then add the rice. Continue stirring for a minute or two before adding 1 cup of water. Cook rice covered over low heat. Remove when almost done.
-Rub the chicken inside out with the salt, herbs and spices and stick the cut garlic in there. It's easy to get kinky with chicken so watch what you're doing and respect the dead please.



-Stuff her with meat/rice making sure not to over pack.
-Stitch the ungodly hole with needle and thread then place into a large pot and add water to cover ¾ of the body. It's a good time to throw in the onion, cinnamon sticks and the laurel leaves. Bring to boil and keep on medium heat for 30 minutes.



-Remove then place in a pan with 2 cups of the broth. Wrap completely (chicken and pan) with aluminum foil and shove it in the oven for 45 minutes (175ºC). Remove foil and leave in oven for another 15 minutes to give the chicken a lovely suntan (or oventan, hahaha: wicked laugh).
-What remains of the broth could be used as sauce or converted into chicken soup (it's very good by the way).
-Present with more cooked rice (in this case the additional rice was prepared with some saffron to give it the golden yellowish hue).
-Enjoy the Jijeh (chicken) at its best.

Bon Appétit



Jijeh is Tartoussi for Jahjeh (Damascus), Djedjeh (Aleppo), Dajaja (the rest of the Arab world with the exception of Egypt where it's called Ferkha).

43 comments:

Katia said...

Well Abufares, I never thought the link Katia - jijeh mehshieh could ever make me laugh that much, but you did it again. And it's only because it's you, believe me ;-) Btw, I'm holding you to that "more romantic one"... you shouldn't have said it, because now you gotta do it ;-)

Thank you, dear Abufares! I'll be trying this one out soon.

Katia said...

Btw, you grumpy? And you were grumpy when he called you about those pics? Hmmm... I must have a very bad radar ;-)

Gabriela said...

Hello AbuFares:
Sometimes, I feel so upset about I don't know what that even the sound of my own voice annoys me. So I prefer not to talk to avoid my temper. Something similar to the description of your mood in the first paragraph. I was starting to think I was becoming an antisocial.
Very nice pictures, you indeed have a very talented son.
¡Saludos!

Anonymous said...

http://syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=100507

Joseph said...

No Lentil soup!?

Dubai Jazz said...

LOL@ stitching the ungodly hole. hahaha... man, I love how stuffed that chicken had turned up. Btw, in Aleppo, we more often call it Farrrroojjeh. A hen is usually referred to as "Djehdjeh"... but who cares? (well, except those who'd always like to know al beeda meen badha wel djehdjeh meen jaba)... bottom line is that it looks delicious. And that all that matters.

wgaw said...

chicken is called da-jaj in bahrain and ju-jah by iranians in bahrain. wow. something so simple becomes so complicated, maybe. ramadan kareem.

Omar said...

You and I are very much alike in the morning. Except I'm grumpy everyday of the year. Can't a person not be bothered in the morning?

The food looks delicious as always, and I love your pronounciation lesson at the end. The "djedjeh" one really made me laugh.

Fantasia Lillith said...

That looks really good! Thank you for the lesson in diction!

Isobel said...

I'm so impressed with the photography! :) What a great recipe too. Thanks for sharing it, Abufares.

KJ said...

The second and third photos have sexual innuendo.

Allahumma enni sa2im!

abufares said...

@Katia
A promise is a promise. Now, I need to find a recipe calling for a hen and a rooster being tied up together and cooked over a very low fire, their bodies melting into one and their juices blending in the same pot... forever and ever.

abufares said...

@Gabriela
You're not antisocial for sure. I think society is anti-personal. It's hard at times to be pleasant when deep inside we're either overwhelmed by melancholy or a feeling of indifference at best.
But come on cheer up and I will tell Fares that you liked his photography.

abufares said...

@Joseph
You can see the Lentil Soup in the last photo of my previous Shakrieh post.
Daily soup is a must in Ramadan. We try to cycle through the favorites. The top 2 in Tartous are Lentil and Red soups. I will combine them both in one post soon.
Thank you for dropping by.

abufares said...

@DJ
I'm usually more into chicks than chicken. Kidding aside, I prefer red meat really. However, a stuffed chicken is not a bad choice for me especially since I'm totally outnumbered at home (in the red vs white meat controversy).

Farrrroojjeh & Djehdjeh, lollll. How can you eat something with names like these ;-)

abufares said...

@wgaw
Among the other names we use (only in) Tartous for chicken are:

Jajeh, jijeh, farrouj, shallouf, zegha and er2a.

So nice seeing you here.

abufares said...

@Omar
I didn't want to broadcast it but I'm grumpy in the morning year round. Until recently I was to be avoided at all cost till noon. But somehow I've changed as if by magic. Now I wake up feeling great and have the best time of the day. I wait till I'm in the office before I get obnoxious again:-)
Can you imagine how a Djedjeh from Aleppo will Kaki قاقي

A2a A2a , loooool

abufares said...

@Fantasia
No kinky ideas? Nothing?
I'm glad you like it, which reminds me that I might cook that after the local meats and cheeses ;-)

abufares said...

@Isobel
So basically this comment is directed to Fares. It will make his day when I tell him what you wrote :-)
What about me though? Nothing!!!

abufares said...

@KJ
You need a chick and fast.

wgaw said...

KJ,

fascinating reading. please post more comments on your sexual inclinations :-)

KJ said...

wgaw, I may in the future write a post on all my fetishes, but for now, the kitchen - and everything in it - turn me on!

Except fruits

Isobel said...

Abufares...I was afraid you might be grumpy! ;) I didn't want to tip the apple cart...or chicken pot...or...well you get the idea...

@KJ I take exception to the discrimination of fruits. Remember...FruitPeace...I'm watching you!!

Anonymous said...

Abufares, bishahi, i love that, at my time we used to call it (deek mihshi)unfotunatly now so remains hatchery bastard chiken(banduk)
alf hana,

abufares said...

@Isobel
I can be grumpy with everyone but not you :-)

@KJ
How about Kiwis??? They are soft and smell nice... you know ;-)

abufares said...

@lê
the reason i don't like to chicken so much now is because of what you said.
nothing beats a deek baladi with burghul and some raw onions and yogurt on the side.

uumm

Dubai Jazz said...

Guys, I just got off the phone with KJ. The post about chicken and sexual innuendos is coming up shortly.




He will, of course, deny that.

Jillian said...

Looks delicious!

Incidentally, it's "dijaj" in Morocco :)

Joseph said...

It was that very same photo that got me all Hyped up...I love lentil soup. Not too keen on stuffed chicken though. Yet in the photos it looks very appetizing.

Anonymous said...

How may a praise you? let me count the ways... Your love of food is intoxicating!

Your son is a very good photographer, by the the by.

You showed up in my dreams the other night with 2 beautiful babies (not babes). Both babies had big round green eyes, one was yours and the other one was the daughter of your sister. No idea why I dreamt that! I bet Freud would have a blast!

w.b. yeats

Karin said...

Gosh I am late here ... but better late than never!

I was grumpy the whole evening - I don't know what but something bugged the hell out of me - till I read your post and recipe - and saw the pictures!

Results:
1 - I am hungry now and it's too late for preparing something delicious like this, nothing else will do for me now or I would resume my grumpy stage of mind.
2 - Thanks so much for the recipe and for brightening my mood and making me grin throughout reading the post and ...
3 - Please tell Fares he's a fantastic fotographer and succeeded in a formidable way to not only capture the stages of preparation but as well the out-of-this-world smell of this "sun-tanned" and most delicious bird!! bird!!
:-)

abufares said...

@Jillian
Welcome on board and I hope to see you again (many times) whether I'm posting about the trivial or about something of momentous gravity (yeah right).
This Dijaj looked and really tasted delicious.
Many thanks for your visit.

abufares said...

@Joseph
Although I'm sure you and most know how to prepare Lentil soup, I'm going to post about it (next) hopefully.

abufares said...

@w.b. yeats
As a man gets older his priorities in life shift from Chicks to Chicken, loool.
Fares loves photography and he pursues his hobby in bursts. Since he's fasting too and hungry most of the time I think he will continue to focus on food for the time being. I'm waiting for him to reach puberty may be he can come home with some interesting shots then ;-)
I always have one interpretation for dreams. You overate and went to sleep. That I was a part of the dream could be caused by my chicken.
Always a pleasure seeing you here, always.

abufares said...

@Karin
Since you're were they are served best north of the border can you have some a couple of tacos (extra hot) and think of me. Ooooohhhh, what I'll do for a real taco now!!!
I'm glad I made you smile. Sometimes I can't even do that to myself and need a shove from a friend like you just did.
Fares is happy with the all praise he's getting for shooting a dead chicken (as his sister sarcastically remarked).

Joseph said...

Thank you Abufares. Yes lentil soup is one of my favorites especially in winter... although it would be interesting to see how you prepare yours, you do not have or need to feel obliged.
I cannot wait for our 1st Iftar in more than 8 years. We were invited to one recently by a Lebanese family... and I can tell you now I'm going to enjoy every bit of it. coming to think of it I might as well fast on the day. LOL

Karin said...

I'll do that one day soon Abufares ... but not too hot as they most likely hurt twice LOLOLOL!!!!!!!
Sure thing I'll think of you!

abufares said...

@Joseph
Have a great time with your friends. I will post next about Lentil Soup and it will be my pleasure.
I love soup so much. I think the only one I don't really like is Rice Soup. Other than that, it's very hard to pick one as my favorite although Lentil is certainly in the top 3.

abufares said...

@Karin
and a burrito and an enchilada and beans and some nachos... and jalapenos, a thousand jalapenos...
ohhhh, I'm drooling Karin.

Anonymous said...

Well, actually I had the dream BEFORE reading your blog, but you may be right in that I overate and probably had more than my usually 2 glasses of wine.

As to why did you showed up in my dream, no idea, but you looked happy!

I had to Fast for just one day for some medical tests. I was very grumpy and had the most horrible headache. Of course maybe the disgusting syropy liquid that made me drink for the CT Scan had something to do with that. LOL

take care!

w.b. yeats

Karin said...

LOLOLOOOOL - you're cracking me up!!!
You might want to re-think the idea with a thousand jalapenos though ... ;-) I have steam coming out of my ears while eating ONE already!!

abufares said...

@w.b. yeats
Well your dream is true, I'm happy.
I hope whatever it was you're feeling better now.
Take care :-)

abufares said...

@Karin
I want to get beyond the steam coming out of my ears HOT... Way beyond ,looooool.