A couple sprigs of fresh mint, coriander, cardamom, finely chopped garlic and vegeta, chopped onion, rice and seasoned chicken thighs, baked at 375F for about 50 minutes. I precooked the rice, mixing in the seasoning about 5 minutes before it was finished. Spoon in the rise over the chopped onion and bake. For fun I chopped fresh mint and cucumber into Greek yogurt on the side.
This is my take on a traditional Palestinian country dish called Maqluba “upside down.” Correctly it is baked in a covered pot with the chicken on top, dripping juices over the onion and race as it cooks, the heat and juices awakening the mint and spices. Seated at a Palestinian table, this would be a communal meal, family and guests eating from the same dish amid conversation and togetherness.
I paired this with a Belgian Farmhouse Ale, La Moneuse Saison, that I picked up at one of my new favorite beer stores, the Beer Temple, 3185 North Elston. Brewed among the idyllic hills nearly upon the French border at La Brasserie de Blaugies, the peppery herbs and surprise hoppy undertone of La Moneuse was perfect with the Maqluba, as if the two were symbiotic, and as if the distance between a Belgian country brewery and Gaza was merely a consideration of geography and nothing more.
The cork came out smoothly, with a perfect pop. The beer poured to a rich golden, reddish amber color, with an airy cream-colored head. *%ABV only helped to settle and deepen the meal, and reaffirm the only thing besides love and forgiveness that can bring the world together: A great meal and a great glass of beer! So here’s to that better world, Fi sahitak!
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