Description :

Caviar-sized pearls made of whole wheat served in a brothy stew with onions, chickpeas, butternut squash, and tender chicken.

Ingredient :

For the Spiced Chicken Stock: 

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (about 2 1/4 pounds; 1kg), either 4 breasts, 4 legs, or a combination

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium (8-ounce; 226g) yellow onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon (9g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt use half as much by volume or the same weight

  • 2 teaspoons ground caraway

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste (optional)

  • 1 bay leaf

For the Butternut Squash Broth:

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium (8-ounce; 226g) yellow onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1/2 medium (2 1/2–pound; 1kg) butternut squash, peeled and diced into roughly 1-inch pieces

  • 1 quart (1L) Spiced Chicken Stock, from above

  • One 15-ounce (425g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 

For the Maftool:

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter

  • 1 pound (453g) maftool (see note)

  • 2 1/4 cups (532ml) Spiced Chicken Stock, from above

For the Chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) Greek yogurt

  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Direction :

  1. For the Spiced Chicken Stock: In a large pot or stockpot of boiling water, boil chicken for 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter, discard water and wash and dry pot. Add olive oil to pot and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, salt, caraway, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, tomato paste, and bay leaf and stir until the onion starts to soften and the spices become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2 quarts (1.9L) water along with the reserved chicken and bring to a boil, skimming any foam from the surface, then lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook until chicken is fully cooked but not falling apart, about 1 hour. Carefully remove the chicken, making sure to keep the pieces intact, and set skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Strain stock, discarding solids.
  2. For the Butternut Squash Broth: In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sliced onions and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in butternut squash and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the 1 quart (1L) spiced chicken stock along with the chickpeas, bring to a simmer, then continue to cook at a simmer until butternut squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, for the Maftool: In a 3- or 4-quart pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add the maftool and cook, stirring, until it smells lightly toasted but hasn't darkened in color, about 5 minutes. Add the 2 1/4 cups (532ml) spiced chicken stock, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, covered, until the maftool has absorbed most of the liquid (see package directions for recommended cooking times). Remove from heat, insert a paper towel or clean kitchen towel under the lid, and let stand 15 minutes.
  4. For the Chicken: Turn on broiler and set oven rack to the second-highest position. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, tomato paste, and yogurt until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Spread yogurt mixture all over skin side of reserved chicken, then broil until the skin is a golden brown, about 5 minutes (note broiling times can vary depending on strength of broiler; keep a close eye on the chicken as it broils).
  5. To serve, fluff up the maftool with a fork and spoon onto a large serving platter. Ladle some of the butternut squash over it with enough broth to moisten without the maftool becoming soupy. Top with the chicken pieces and serve with bowls of the butternut squash broth on the side.

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