Lebanese Recipes

Authentic Lebanese Recipes - Page 4
Chicken & Fowl

Little Birds

Authentic Lebanese Recipe: Restaurants in the mountain resort towns of Lebanon specialize in these crisply roasted little larks. They are often served as meza with Arab bread and araq.

To prepare the birds, pull feathers, cut off beaks and legs and draw. Rub the outside with salt and pepper. Tuck the bird's head into its stomach cavity. Thread several birds together onto a skewer and broil over charcoal. Serve very hot.

The birds may be pan-fried in samneh or butter. Clean as above, rub with salt, pepper and lemon juice, and fry in one-half inch of hot fat.


Circassian Chicken

Turkish Recipe:
1 4-lb. chicken
2 cups shelled walnuts
3 slices white bread
1 onion
1 carrot
1 bunch parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 qts. water

Here is a famous Turkish cold chicken speciality which would rate a place of honor at any buffet supper. It features a spiced sauce of ground walnuts.

Stew chicken gently in covered pot with water, carrot, onion, parsley, salt and pepper for two hours, or until very tender. Skim. You may use the pressure cooker, in which case reduce the water to one quart and shorten the cooking time to 30 minutes under pressure. Let chicken cool in broth. Reserve the stock. Take meat from bones, discarding skin. Dice the meat, or leave it in individual pieces for serving.

Prepare sauce by grinding walnuts twice through the fine blade of the meat grinder. Add paprika to the walnuts and press this in a fine cheesecloth to extract the red oil which will be used later to garnish the dish. Soak bread in chicken stock, squeeze dry and combine with walnuts. Grind three times through the blade of meat grinder, or buzz in the electric blender, slowly adding one cup chicken stock to make a paste. To serve, place the diced or sliced chicken on a serving plattet and spread it with the walnut paste. Sprinkle it with the walnut oil. Some cooks mix the diced chicken with half the walnut paste, reserving the other half to spread on top. Serve this dish cold.

Pigeons in Wine Sauce

Authentic Lebanese Recipe: Allow one pigeon for each person. Pluck feathers and clean the birds. Heat several tablespoons of shortening in a skillet and brown the pigeons in it, turning frequently. Transfer birds to a second skilled while preparing the sauce. In the same fat, brown several minced onions and carrots, a sliced leek and the chopped livers of the birds. Slowly add one-half cup each of white wine and water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for half an hour, or cook under pressure for 12 minutes. Press sauce through a colander or food mill. Return the sauce to the cooking pan along with the browned pigeons. Simmer in a covered pan until tender {about 45 minutes) or cook under pressure for 20 minutes. Cut each bird in half and place in a shallow roasting pan in a moderate oven for five minutes to dry out. To serve, place each pigeon half on a round of toast and pass the sauce in a separate bowl.

Broiled Chicken a la Zahle

Authentic Lebanese Recipe: Zahle, the mountain village overlooking the Bekaa' Valley in Lebanon, is famous for its wine, araq and this savory broiled chicken served in the terrace cafes by the riverbank. In these outdoor cafes the chicken is broiled to order over charcoal. This is a good dish for an outdoor barbecue, although it also may be successfully prepared in an oven broiler.

For two persons, clean and split in half a tender broiling chicken. Wipe dry. Crush several garlic cloves and mash together with one teaspoon salt, the juice of half a lemon and one half cup of olive oil. Put aside 1/4 of a cup of this sauce. Marinate chicken in rest of sauce for several hours. Broil over charcoal or in a hot oven, basting frequently with the marinade while broiling and sprinkling with additional salt. Serve hot with reserved sauce.

Stuffed Turkey

Authentic Lebanese Recipe
1 12-lb. turkey
4 cups ground meat
2 cups rice
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup pistachio nuts
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup samneh (or other shortening)

Lebanese stuffed turkey is stewed until tender instead of baked in the oven. This method of cooking produces a very tender, moist turkey which is highly flavored with the seasonings of the stuffing.

Fry meat in fat until brown, then mix with rest of ingredients and simmer in one cup of water for 15 minutes. Stuff body cavity of turkey with mixture. Remove neck bone and stuff the neck skin also. Sew openings tightly closed with heavy thread. Place bird in a large kettle. Add water to barely cover, two teaspoons salt (or to taste) and bring to boil. Skim. Cover and simmer gently until meat is tender. Lift the turkey carefully from the kettle and place in shallow roasting pan. Coat with laban, samneh, butter or other shortening. Place in hot oven to brown the outside. Slice meat onto a serving platter and heap the rice stuffing in the center of the platter.


Lebanese Chicken Pilaf

Authentic Lebanese Recipe: Place a stewing chicken in enough water to cover. Bring to boil. Skim. Season water with salt, pepper and a cinnamon stick and simmer chicken until meat comes easily from the bones. Do not boil as this will toughen the meat. Cook in a pressure cooker if desired. Remove meat in large pieces from the bones. Reserve the stock. For every 1 1/4 cups stock take one cup of rice which has been soaked in hot water for half an hour and fry gently in samneh or butter. Then boil rice in chicken broth until tender. The broth will be absorbed. Saute 1/2 cup blanched almonds and 1/4 of a cup pine nuts in butter. Arrange nuts in bottom of greased deep round dish or mold. Cover with rice and press down gently. Unmold onto serving platter. Garnish with whole pieces of chicken. Serve hot with chicken gravy.

Chicken with Rice and Tomatoes

1 frying chicken
2 cups rice
1 cup samneh (or other shortening)
1l/2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 stick cinnamon
Grated cheese

Authentic Lebanese Recipe: Soak bulk rice in hot water for half an hour. (This is not necessary with packaged, processed rice.) Cut chicken into serving pieces and brown well in hot samneh. Add tomatoes, tomato paste diluted in water, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender or cook under pressure for 20 minutes. Remove chicken and one-half cup of sauce. Add drained rice to cooking pan, adding water if necessary to make 2 1/2 cups of sauce. Cook rice until tender and fluffy. Spoon rice onto serving dish and shape it with spoon into a smooth, round mould. Arrange chicken on rice. Sprinkle rice with grated cheese. Serve with bowl of sauce.

Stuffed Chicken

1 4-lb. chicken
1 cup chopped meat (preferably lamb)
1 cup rice
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Authentic Lebanese Recipe: Here is a delicious way to prepare a whole chicken with a meat stuffing. This method uses the pressure cooker. For open pan preparation, see the recipe (below) for Shourabit Djaaj (stuffed chicken soup).

Stuff body cavity of chicken with mixture of ground meat, rice, nuts, water and seasonings. Remove neck bone and stuff neck skin also. Sew cavities firmly closed. Place stuffed chicken in pressure cooker. Add 2 1/2 cups water and more salt to taste. Bring to a boil and skim. Add stick of cinnamon and cook under pressure for 30 minutes. Lengthen cooking time five or 10 minutes if chicken is old and add more water. Serve this dish hot.

Stuffed Chicken in Soup

Authentic Lebanese Recipe
1 tender 4-lb. chicken
3/4 cup rice
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 cup ground meat
1/2 cup rice
I tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup water
1 small tomato, chopped (optional)

Shourabat ed djaaj is a Lebanese feast day speciality. After the bird is stuffed it is stewed gently and the rich broth which results makes the first course of the feast. In Lebanon the chickens are carefully prepared for stuffing. They are washed first with soapy water and scrubbed with a vegetable sponge called a loufah. Next the soap is thoroughly rinsed off, the body cavity of the bird is rubbed with flour to absorb any gamey taste, and then the flour is rinsed away.

Prepare stuffing and fill body and neck cavity of bird. Sew tightly closed with heavy thread. Cover chicken with slightly salted water and bring to a boil. Skim. Place scalded chicken in pressure cooker with 3 1/2 cups of water, one teaspoon salt and a stick of cinnamon. Cook at 15 pounds pressure for 30 minutes. (Older chickens may require up to 45 minutes under pressure). Remove chicken with a little broth to oven-proof pan and keep warm in slow oven while preparing the soup. Add the3/4 cup of rice to the broth in the pressure cooker and cook under pressure for eight minutes. Open cooker, season and add more water if soup seems too thick. Pour soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with parsley and cinnamon when bringing to the table. Carve the chicken and arrange the meat with mounds of stuffing on a serving platter. Pass some of the reserved broth as a sauce. Complete the meal with salad, cooked vegetables and laban.

Prepare this stuffed chicken in an open pan if you like. Stuff the chicken as above and place in a stewing kettle with water to cover. Add salt. Bring to boil and skim. Add cinnamon stick and simmer until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and a cup of broth in which it will be re-heated later. To the broth in the pan add the rice and boil until tender. Serve as above. Serves 8 persons.

Djaaj (Chicken)

More Authentic Lebanese Recipes - several pages. Click here for Page 1 |  Pg 2 |  Pg 3 |  Pg 4 |  Pg 5 |  Pg 6 |  Pg 7 |  Pg 8 |  Pg 9 | 

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Thank you to everyone who contributed recipes and photos in the past years to help us share Lebanon's beauty with the world and to help perpetuate the Lebanese culture across the globe. Thank you especially to Aunt Maheeba's friend (sorry I forgot her name) who was originally from Saghbine (Lebanon) but who lived in Brooklyn and gave me many of these authentic recipes that she had saved from the old country. She shared them with all the young Lebanese wives who grew up here in the United States and did not have access to authnetic Lebanese recipes or training in Lebanese cooking "the right way". May she rest in peace.

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