Chicken Fattee

I love a fattee! It’s a perculiar sounding dish and maybe not the most PC sounding one at that, but this Lebanese style of food is amazing. A fattee is a layered dish normally starting with crispy flat breads. The fattee can feature many other elements – from fish, tomatoes, spinach etc. This chicken version features a fair few components. It may seem a little daunting, but if you read the recipe in detail you’ll soon realise that none of the elements of the dish is going to task you too greatly. It’s an all-in-one meal with a bit of wow factor making it ideal for dinner parties. Just prepare everything in advance and heat the necessary bits up when you need them and arrange at the last minute.

RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS:
For the chicken:

2 chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon yoghurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper

For the tomato sauce:
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
salt & pepper
2cm stick cinnamon

For the yoghurt sauce:
1 cup natural yoghurt
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the aubergine:
1 medium aubergine (cut into 3cm cubes and sprinkled with the salt 30 minutes prior to starting)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

For the rice:
150g Basmati rice
30g unsalted butter
200g canned chickpeas
2cm cinnamon stick
1/2 onion (thinly sliced)
250ml chicken stock

Other ingredients:
2 large pitta breads
60g pine nuts
lemon wedges
4 tablespoons continental parsely (chopped)

Complete in this order:

1. The chicken:
Mix together all the ingredients together and leave for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180ºC and place on an oiled baking tray. Cook for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Leave to cool then cut into bite size chunks.

2. The tomato sauce:
While the chicken is cooking, place the tomatoes, garlic, cinnamon, salt and pepper into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. The rice:
Rinse the rice thoroughly and drain. Heat the butter in a saucepan and then fry the onions and cinnamon for 5 minutes over a moderate heat till browned. Add the rice and stir well. Add the chickpeas and stock then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated. Leave covered.

4. The yoghurt sauce:
Crush the garlic and salt into a paste. Beat this into the yoghurt and set aside.

5. The bread:
When the chicken comes out of the oven, place the bread directly on the shelves and cook for 10-15 minutes until crispy. Remove and set aside to cool then break into chunks and set aside.

6. The aubergine:
Rinse the salt from the aubergine and then place on a clean tea towel and dry off. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and when hot, fry the aubergine for 5-8 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from the heat when soft and cover.

7. The pine nuts:
In a small frying pan, dry roast the nuts for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.

To assemble:
In a large serving platter, start with the crispy bread. Spoon over the rice, then arrange the chicken on top then the aubergine cubes. Spoon over the tomato sauce then the yoghurt sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and the pine nuts. Arrange the lemon wedges on top and serve.

SERVING:
This is a whole meal in one so there’s no need for anything else.

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