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05 April 2009

Chicken Stew with Black Limes

My quest to discover and use new herbs and spices has led me to investigate ingredients that I have not used before and which you don't commonly hear about. Black limes are one of these ingredients.

Black limes are whole sun-dried limes. Inside the hard outer layer is a black, sticky pith with a pungent, citrus aroma. My spice bible (Spice Notes and Recipes by Ian Hemphill) informs me that black limes go well with fish and chicken and can be added whole to casseroles and stews (with a few holes punched through them with a skewer). They can also be pulverised and mixed with pepper to sprinkle on chicken and fish.

I was intrigued to use them, so I have created this chicken stew.

Normally a stew like this would go well with couscous. However, Mark has decided that he hates couscous and never wants to eat it again. So, needless to say, I have not served this dish with couscous. I've chosen healthy and nutty brown rice.

I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon hot paprika
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup plain flour
500g boneless chicken pieces cut into 4-5cm pieces
2 medium white onions diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 black limes each pierced 4-5 times with a skewer
1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped


Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Place the spices in a mortar and pestle and grind to combine.

Place the flour, 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture and the chicken pieces in a plastic bag. Toss to combine. Heat half the oil in a pan. Shake excess flour off the chicken and brown in the oil in batches. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add extra oil and onion and garlic to the pan. Fry for a few minutes until soft. Add remaining spice mix and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add white wine, chicken stock and black limes.

Place chicken in a casserole dish. Pour over onion, spice and wine mixture. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for one hour. Serve sprinkled with fresh dill.

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