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MOLOUKHIA WITH RICE
Jute leaves and chicken are simmered in a lemony chicken broth and served with rice for the classic Middle Eastern stew known as Molokhia. This Lebanese version is irresistibly delicious and filled with antioxidants.
- 10 cups Dry Jews Mallow Leaves or 5 Cups hydrated or Fresh/frozen
- ¼ cup Ghee or Vegetable Oil
- 17 cloves Garlic
- 2 bunches Cilantro /Coriander leaves
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tb. Dried Coriander
- 2 Lemons juiced
- 2 Whole Chicken Breasts
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 5 Cloves
- ½ Onion
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1 tb. Olive Oil
- In a medium sized pot, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Season the chicken breast with one teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Cook over high heat for about 2 minutes per side. Add the bay leaves, cloves, onion, remaining salt and about 6 cups of water. Cook on high heat until boiling, then lower the heat to medium and cook until chicken has cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Set cooked chicken aside to cool. Once cooled, shred the chicken.
- Add 10 cups of the dried molokhia leaves to a large mixing bowl. Remove any stems or brown/yellow leaves. Heat up a kettle of water until just boiling, and pour over the leaves to re-hydrate them. Let soak for at least 5 minutes. Drain the water and pour the leaves into a colander over the bowl.
- Pour water over the leaves in the colander and swirl around with your hands. Drain the water and squeeze the molokhia. You will feel slime oozing out of your hands. Repeat this step until the water runs CLEAR and the molokhia is no longer slimy (My batch took about 20 washes.)
- Wash the fresh cilantro and cut off the stems. Finely chop and set aside.
- Peel the garlic and cut in half or thirds (reserve about 5 whole cloves of garlic aside). Place in a mortar and top with a teaspoon of salt. Crush the garlic until no chunks remain.
- In a large deep pot, heat up ¼ cup of ghee or vegetable oil. Add chopped cilantro and crushed garlic and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the washed and squeezed-dry molokhia, and whole cloves of garlic to the cilantro/garlic mix and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Using a strainer to catch the cloves and everything else, add the chicken broth to the pot. If necessary, add additional water to cover all the molokhia leaves. Let cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Add the shredded chicken, dried coriander, and lemon juice to the Molokhia stew. Taste for salt and add if needed. Let simmer for 5 more minutes.*If you added the habanero peppers, remove now and set aside. They can be eaten on the side with the prepared stew for an extra spicy kick.
- Serve the stew with prepared rice with vermicelli noodles.
Add Habanero peppers for extra flavor (optional).