This Egyptian dish can be made using fresh molokheya when in season or otherwise substitute frozen or dried molokheya. Molokheya is traditionally served as an accompaniment to rabbit or chicken. However, Sam prefers spatchcock and also recommends using game meat.
- 3 litres of water
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery
- 4 small spatchcocks, (small chickens up to 600 g each in weight)
- salt and pepper
- 250 g butter or ghee
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed (2 cloves for each guest)
- 3 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 kg dried or fresh molokheya (see Note)
- extra butter, for frying the spatchcock
- steamed rice and fried vericelli noodles, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Boil water, add carrot, onion and celery, then add whole spatchcocks and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove the birds.
Strain and skim fat from the surface of the stock then simmer stock until it reduces by half. Make sure you remove all the fat as it can interfere with the flavour of the molokheya leaves. Season stock with salt and pepper.
While stock is simmering, prepare garlic and coriander mixture. In a frypan, heat butter or ghee and lightly brown the crushed garlic. Add ground coriander, cook for another 10 seconds and set aside.
When ready to serve, heat up stock to a gentle simmer then drop in the chopped molokheya leaves for just two minutes. The leaves should float to the surface.
Pour in fried garlic and coriander mixture and stir. The mixture should be thick and runny. Remove from heat.
To serve, brown the spatchcocks in a pan full of melted butter over medium-high heat and serve separately on a bed of steamed rice topped with lightly-fried vermicelli pieces. Spoon the molokheya onto the plate with the meat.
To prepare fresh molokheya: remove leaves from stalk carefully, wash and then dry leaves thoroughly on absorbent paper. Then chop into pieces.