Kebsa : le plateau le plus beau du Moyen-Orient
Although it is originally from Saudi Arabia, I have the chance to eat this dish every time I go to Jordan. It is always served with so much love, decorated in a divine way, and tastes comfort in every bite, no matter who cooks it.
It is served on the floor, and eaten sitting on your knees, accompanied by a small salad and yogurt. A feast each time, which I finally managed to reproduce here.
For about 4 people
8 chicken drumsticks
4 cups of water
1 large onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 cup of tomato purée (crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce… of your choice)
2-3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup long grain rice
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 cup peanut, unsalted
A small handful of flat-leaf parsley (optional)
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken and brown it. Remove the chicken.
If necessary, add more oil. Sauté the onion for two minutes, add the garlic, and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add carrots, spices, and tomato purée. Brown for 2 minutes.
Add the water, bay leaves, salt and pepper and return the chicken. Simmer for about 40 minutes.
Heat the oven to 300F. Remove the chicken and put it in a dish or on a plate with parmemin paper, then put it in the oven.
Rinse the rice well, then put it in the cauldron with the remaining liquid. Close the lid. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Check for doneness.
Fry the peanuts. In a small saucepan over medium heat, put some olive oil. When it starts to heat up, add the peanuts. Stir constantly until the smell of peanuts comes out. Do not wait for coloring, since they continue to cook afterwards. Coloring will come next
Serve by spreading the rice in a large platter or large plate. Add the chicken on top, then the lemon slices, pepper strips and peanuts. Garnish with parsley if desired.
**Make your own mix with what you have available. But in total, have at least 3 tbsp. at the spice table. Example: 1 tbsp. ground cumin seeds, 1 tbsp. ground coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1 tbsp. ground allspice