Egypt: Tabouli Chicken Casserole

Mary Kay Radnich

Tabouli Chicken Casserole

Bulgur consists of wheat grains that have been hulled, steamed until partly cooked and then ground. Available in fine and coarse grades, it is a popular grain for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean salads.

I found this recipe in a small cookbook of recipes from the National Chicken Cooking Contest of 1993, which is sponsored here in the USA by the National Broiler Council. A basic tabouli salad is transformed into an elegant, main course luncheon or dinner salad. I used rice as an accompaniment to the casserole, in case my daughter, the resident picky eater didn’t care for the tabouli, but she loved it!

1 cut up broiler-fryer chicken
2 cans (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained
1 can (15 oz.) chopped, crushed or diced tomatoes.
3 medium carrots, coarsely grated
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup white wine
1 Tb. fresh chopped mint
1 Ts. chopped garlic
1 cup bulgur
1 Tb. finely grated lemon peel
2 Tb. Corn starch
4 Tb. Cold water
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh cucumbers
Grease large casserole dish. Place artichokes, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, chicken broth, wine, mint, garlic, bulgur and lemon peel in casserole dish. In small dish, mix cornstarch and water until smooth; add to vegetable mixture, stirring well. Place chicken on top. Bake, covered, in 350F oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until fork can be inserted into chicken with ease.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley and cucumbers.

Makes 6 servings.

Egypt: Stuffed duck and potatoes

one large duck
crushed wheat or rice
salt and pepper
Tomato paste
one dozen small potatoes

Crushed rice wheat is washed in water and left to soak for a while. The duck is stuffed with the crushed rice wheat from behind. It is then plugged with a large onion and sewed tightly with a clean thread and needle. The sewing is very important, as it will not allow the rice/crushed wheat to escape from inside the duck.

The stuffed duck is boiled in water until it is tender. It is preferred to add a lot of herbs to the stew as this gives a special taste to the duck. You can be creative with herbs but avoid spicy ones. Add cumin, onions, some salt and pepper.

The stuffed duck is then placed on a pan and lemon juice is squeeze on it. Then tomato paste is spread on its back. The duck is placed in the oven on medium temperature. When the back is red the duck is taken out of the oven and left to cool for a minute. The stuffed crushed rice wheat can either be left inside of the duck or it can be taken out and placed around the duck in a serving plate.

As a side dish you can prepare stuffed potatoes. Pick a dozen or more small potatoes (about the size of a golf ball each). The potatoes are peeled and hollowed out. They are then fried. Minced meat is cooked on a frying pan. The potatoes are stuffed with the cooked minced meat and placed in a deep pan. Tomato paste is then brushed on the surface and the pan of potatoes is placed in the oven for ten minutes.

For salad you can prepare Egyptian green salad. Cut tomatoes, cucumbers, rocket, radish into medium pieces. Slice half an onion and add it to the salad. For seasoning, pour one tablespoon of vinegar and one tablespoon of olive oil in a cup and squeeze on it half of a small lemon. Add salt and pepper. Stir the seasoning and pour it on the salad. Toss the salad then spray it with cumin.

Egypt: Shakshukat beed iskandarani – Hardboiled eggs a la Alexandria

1 onion very finely chopped
2-3 ripe tomatoes
3-6 hardboiled eggs
cooking oil
salt and pepper
Peel and slice the tomatoes ½ inch thick. Fry the onion until it softens, then add the tomatoes and cook for 10-12 minutes. Shell the eggs, leave whole and slide onto the tomato mixture. Cook for 5 minutes. To serve, remove the eggs, halve, arrange in a serving dish and cover with the tomato mixture.

Egypt: Moroccan Spice Braised Chicken with Dates and Almonds

3 1/2 pounds chicken parts
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion,halved, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Turmeric
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pitted and quartered dates, (about 6 ounces)
1/3 cup whole blanched almonds
1.Coat chicken with flour. Heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add half of the chicken; brown about 5 minutes per side. Remove from skillet. Repeat browning step with remaining chicken, adding onion. Return all chicken to skillet.

2. Combine cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and turmeric in a small bowl; add to chicken. Stir to evenly coat chicken and onions with spices; sauté 1-2 minutes.

3. Stir in broth, lemon juice and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in dates and almonds and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Egypt: Lemon Seafood Pasta Chez Sherra’s Place

One pound shrimp (31-40 count)
One pound scrod filets
One anaheim or other “mildly hot” fresh green pepper. (about 5 inches long-diced)
one cup broccoli florets (pre-cooked until just a bit tender-I did this for 2 minutes in microwave)
Pint of fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced-leave a few whole
one large roma tomato-diced
two lemons-juiced
1/4 cup Gazebo Room dressing (Greek salad dressing)
4 Tablespoons butter (not margarine)
about 1/2 C water
2 T flour
Bowtie Pasta (4 servings worth-cooked al dente in salted water (1 teaspoon salt per quart) with the juice of one lemon added to the pot. (Really!) This makes the pasta tasty!

Saute shrimp in large skillet with mushrooms and peppers in 2 tablespoons butter on medium high heat about 3 minutes until shrimp are opaque and pink. Remove shrimp. Turn heat down. Cool shrimp slightly, peel and set aside. Keep mushrooms, peppers, cooking to soften. Don’t let it dry out. (this is a stopping point if you need more time to peel the shrimp, add the liquid ingredients first then add the fish when you are ready)
Add to mushrooms: juice of one lemon, diced tomato, dressing, rest of butter and scrod cut into large pieces (one pound filet will make about 8 pieces) Try to get pieces about the same size. Saute, and add water so the fish steams. Keep heat on medium. Turn fish pieces gently to cook through. This will take less than 5 minutes-when fish looks solid white and flakes with fork it is done. Toss broccoli and shrimp back in skillet. Remove about 1/4 cup hot liquid from skillet, stir flour into the hot liquid until smooth, then gently stir this mixture back into the skillet, trying not to break up the fish. Cook one to two minutes longer. This will slightly thicken the sauce, but will not be thick like gravy. Serve over hot pasta.

Makes 4 servings.

Egypt: Igga baladi Omelet

4 – 6 eggs

1 tablespoon flour

1 onion, chopped very fine

dash of cinnamon powder

cooking oil

salt and pepper

Beat eggs, add sifted flour, cinnamon, and seasoning, and beat again. Heat oil and fry onion until golden, then stir in beaten eggs and fry on quick flame.  When the underside sets, lift the edge or tilt the pan to let the liquid run underneath.  Turn over and continue frying until both sides are golden and dry.

Omelets are usually served in thick slices.

Egypt: Hamam Mahshi bi Burghul (Cornish Hens with Bulgur, Raisins, and Pine Nuts)


Cornish Hens:

3 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens, skinned
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Cooking spray

3/4 cup currants
3 1/3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups uncooked bulgur
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

1. To prepare the hens, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the onion and next 5 ingredients (onion through allspice) in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine hens and onion mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag; marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning bag occasionally. Remove the hens from the bag; discard marinade.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Place hens on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until thermometer registers 180 degrees.

4. To prepare the bulgur, soak currants in a bowl of water 15 minutes. Drain; set aside. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the bulgur, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in currants, pine nuts, and butter. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1/2 Cornish hen and 1 1/2 cups bulgur mixture).

Egypt: Chicken with Chickpeas

4 tablespoons butter
3-5 lbs. Chicken pieces, trimmed of fat and cut into serving size pieces
(I happened to have chicken breasts in my refrigerator)
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
1 can chickpeas (19 oz or 540 ml)
1 ½ – 2 cups water (I added 2 chicken bouillon cubes)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large skillet, sauté’ the chicken pieces in the butter over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Be sure to turn them several times, making sure that they brown evenly.

Remove the chicken pieces from the saucepan and set aside. Add the onions and stir-fry until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and coriander leaves and stir-fry again, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, including the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken pieces are well cooked. Serve hot over rice.

Serves 6 to 8.

Egypt: Chicken & Pasta Corniche

1 large chicken, cut into 8 pieces and skinned, about 5 pounds ( or 5 pounds of skinless, bone-in chicken breasts  if you prefer all white meat)

1 Tb. olive oil

2 large onions, finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, mashed

2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (roma tomatoes are good for this)

1/2 c. dry red wine

1 Tb. wine vinegar

3 whole cloves

2 bay leaves

pinch paprika

pinch cinnamon

1 lb. pasta noodles, such as macaroni or other shaped pasta

1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesean

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

-Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot and brown the chicken in batches, over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and set aside.

-Add the onions and garlic and saute’, stirring occasionally or until softened.

-Add 1 2/3 c. water, tomatoes, wine, vinegar, cloves, bay leaves, paprika and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Add chicken, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear, about 45 minutes.

-Remove the chicken and keep warm. Remove the bay leaves and cloves from the sauce and discard. Skim the fat from the sauce and set sauce aside.

-Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain and stir into the sauce and heat through.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Serve pasta with grated parmesan and with the chicken.

Serves 8.

Egypt: Crepes Avec Volaille et Pomme chez Marie

Crepes (see below)
3 Tb. margarine or butter
3 Tb. flour
1/2 Ts. salt
2 C. turkey or chicken broth
1 1/2 C. finely cut up chicken or turkey
2/3 C. chopped apple
1 medium stalk celery, chopped ( about 1/2 c.)
2 Tb. chopped onion
Seasoning such as Old Bay to taste.
Prepare Crepes; keep covere to prevent them from drying out.  Heat margarine over low heat until melted.  Blend in flour and salt.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.  Stir in broth.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute.

Mix chicken, apple, celery, onion and 3/4 c. of the thickend broth.  Place scant 1/4 cup chicken mixture on center of each crepe; roll up.  Place crepes seam sides down in ungreased oblong baking dish, 13 x 9.  Pour remaining broth over crepes. Cook uncovered in 350F oven until crepes are hot, about 20 minutes.  6 servings.


1 c. all purpose flour
1/4 ts. baking powder
1/4 ts. salt
1 1/4 c. milk
1 egg
1 tb. melted margarine or butter
Mix flour, baking powder, salt.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Beat with electric hand mixer until smooth.

Lightly butter a 7 or 8 inch skillet; heat over medium heat until bubbly, being careful not to burn the butter.  For each crepe, pour a scant quarter cup of  batter into the skillet. Immediately rotate the skillet until a thin film of batter covers the bottom.  Cook until light brown. Run a wide spatula around the edge to loosen, then turn the crepe and cook until the other side is light brown.  Stack crepes on wax paper to prevent sticking.