Molokhia gets its name froma dark leafy green of the same name. Also known as Jew’s mallow, it develops an okra-like viscosity when cooked and is an acquired taste for some. In Lebanon, writer Salma Abdelnour grew up eating molokhia served with crispy pita croutons and a drizzle of dressing made with red wine vinegar and onion. But Egyptians often serve the dish without these garnishes, as in this recipe from Eric Monkaba.More Middle Eastern Recipes

Food & Wine
February 2012

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© Petrina Tinslay

Recipe Summary

active:
30 mins
total:
2 hrs
Yield:
4 to 5
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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, breasts, thighs and drumsticks and pat dry.

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  • 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.

  • Meanwhile, using the side of a knife, mash the garlic to a paste with 1 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.

Make Ahead

The poached chicken and broth can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Notes

Molokhia (other spellings include molokia) is available at Middle Eastern markets. The leaves are usually sold frozen. Spinach is a fine substitute.

Suggested Pairing

Fresh, full-bodied French white such as a Rhône-style blend.

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