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Tajine Poulet Chtetra

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Tajine Poulet Chtetra
    Posted: 06 October 2015 at 20:01

Brook and I are constantly exchanging emails on various aspects of culinary culture, geography and history; much of the essence of those electronic conversations eventually ends up on this forum, and this is another example.

In a recent email, the topic somehow turned to the foodways of the mystical and oft-forgotten Sephardic Jews. I made the passing remark that they have a very interesting culture, not just culinary but in other ways, and noted that the North African and Spanish experience seems to have left a very deep mark that persists even today.

As he so often does, Brook reached into the side passageways of Sephardic culture and brought out a very interesting aspect that had hitherto known absolutely nothing about:

Originally posted by Brook Brook wrote:

There’s also a lesser-known community of French Sephards; known as Pied Noir, they wound up in Algeria, rather than Morocco and Tunisia as the Spanish Sephards did. While there are many similarities between the two communities, there are some unique differences too, particularly in the cuisine; this stands to reason, with one having Spanish culinary roots and the other French. 

The Pied Noir, from what I can tell after very limited research, have less Arab influences on their foods than do the Spanish Shephards; This recipe is an example, keeping in mind that tajine, in Tunis and Algeria, refers to the dish, rather than the cooking pot. Note the use of rice, even though Algeria is in the couscous belt; this is just one of the French-influences, along with the heavy use of thyme. 

I have no idea what “Chtetra” refers to - perhaps the name of a town?

Tajine Poulet Chtetra

Chtetra Chicken Tagine

Chicken stock:

1 whole (about 4 pounds) chicken

2 leeks

1 carrot, peeled

1 turnip, cut in pieces

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 cloves garlic

2 stalks celery

1/2 teaspoon saffron, crushed


2 large onions, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tomatoes, diced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1/2 can (6 oz) tomato paste

For the stock: 

Put all the ingredients in a large pot, cover with water, and boil (simmer) for 35 minutes. Strain the stock through a sieve (I always line the sieve with cheese cloth), reserving the liquid. Remove the chicken from the bones and set aside. Discard the bones, skin, fat, and vegetables. Allow the stock to cool and then refrigerate for 2 hours. Skim off the fat that is floating on the surface.

For the tajine: 

Heat the oil and then cook the onions over medium heat until caramelized, approximately 12-15 minutes. You want the onions to be translucent and almost golden. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock, the chicken, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, red pepper, cumin and vinegar. Continue cooking, uncovered, over high heat.

After 25 minutes, stir in the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 20 minutes.

Serve over white or brown rice.

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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 January 2016 at 15:46
Lovely recipe. 

Chtetra, according to a brief look in French on Google, is one of the National classics, a Potato Dish served in Algeria.  

It is simplified in spices, and its based on potatoes. So similar to the recipe but without the chicken.  

Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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