Chicken & chickpea stew

                       Chicken & chickpea stew.

Chicken & chickpea stew
Chicken & chickpea stew


4 skinless chicken breast fillets

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, halved and sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 carrot, sliced

1 bay leaf 1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes

2 pinches of saffron powder 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 2.5cm/1in squares

1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into 2.5cm/1in squares

100g/4oz fennel bulb, thinly sliced

50ml/2fl oz dry white wine

400g/14oz canned chopped plum tomatoes, drained

225ml/8fl oz vegetable stock

550g/1lb 4oz canned cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained

10 large green olives, pitted and cut into slivers

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley salt and ground black pepper

• Cut the chicken breasts on the diagonal into 5cm/2in strips and season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, and sauté the chicken in batches for 1–2 minutes until it is no longer pink on the outside.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. •

Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat, and sauté the onion, garlic, carrot, bay leaf and all the spices for 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the red and yellow peppers, fennel and wine, and cook for about 5 minutes until the pan is nearly dry.

• Stir in the tomatoes and stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the reserved chicken and chickpeas to the pan, and continue to simmer, covered, for another 15–20 minutes until the stew has thickened. • Just before serving, stir in the olives, lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley. Serve hot on a bed of rice or couscous.