Fatet Dajaj – فتة دجاج

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Fatet recipes use day old pita bread that is soaked in a special sauce and layered with a main ingredient  like chicken or eggplant. This recipe uses chicken and rice. In Palestine and across the Middle East, wasting bread is Haram, and these recipes are a way to use bread that has gone stale in a tasty dish. This is also an ideal recipe for leftover rice or roasted chicken. 

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The bread is ripped up and toasted first, giving the entire dish and nice toasty flavor. You can also replace the chicken with roasted eggplant to make a great vegetarian dish. Sahtain!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked white or brown rice
  • 4 lb chicken cut into pieces (or your leftover chicken)
  • 2 whole pita bread
  • 3 Tblsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 1/4 tsp of Seven Spices
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • toasted almonds for garnish

Instructions:

Rinse the chicken pieces and put them in a large pot with 2 cups of water. Put it on the stove over medium-high heat. When it boils, add salt, cardamon pods, and bay leaves, lower the heat and cover. The minimum cooking time is about 40 minutes. If you are using leftover chicken you will obviously skip this step.

Rip the pita bread into 1 inch pieces and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the vegetable oil and toast in the oven until golden brown.

When the chicken is done, remove the meat from the bones and cut it into pieces. Add the Seven Spices and broil in the oven on a baking sheet  for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl mix yogurt with 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth from the pot and the garlic.

In a 9 x 13 glass baking dish, spread all of the toasted pita pieces across the bottom, next layer the rice,  then spread 3/4 of the yogurt-broth mix, arrange the chicken pieces next, and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Spoon a bit of the remaining 1/4 cup of the yogurt-broth sauce on each serving.

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