Monday, February 21, 2011

Culinary Adventures Around the World - Algeria

We are cooking our way around the world (you can read the details in the page under the header called "Culinary Adventures Around the World") and have finally arrived in Algeria.   It has taken at least a couple of years to make our way through Europe and it is quite exciting to finally be in North Africa.   The food in North Africa is primarily from Berber and Arab culinary traditions, although Algerian food has been influenced by French cuisine more than food in other surrounding areas.  Most of the dishes include meat (chicken, lamb, or beef) with dates, almonds, apricots, chick peas, and other fruits and vegetables mixed with cinnamon, ginger, cumin, coriander, and served with couscous.   

Many of the Algerian recipes were similar to the ones we had when we cooked Moroccan food (here), so I tried to find a recipe that involved different ingredients. The recipe I found online to make for our Algerian meal was Chicken with Chickpeas and Lemon (found here) and served with couscous.

Ingredients (with my alterations in brackets):
  • 2 Cloves Garlic -- Chopped
  • Salt And Pepper -- To Taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Saffron (I couldn't find this so didn't use any)
  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (I used margarine and less than the amount specified)
  • 1 Large Chicken -- Cut Into Pieces (I used 2 large chicken breasts)
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon (I used 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 1 Bunch Parsley -- Chopped
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro -- Chopped
  • 3 Medium Green Onion -- Chopped
  • 1 Can Chick Peas (I drained them and used some of the liquid as needed to help make a sauce)
  • 1 Red Onion -- Chopped
  • Lemon Juice from one lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups couscous

I didn't follow the directions listed on the website as I was running out of time.  Instead I put the chicken in a frying pan with the butter and as it was cooking I added the other ingredients pretty much in the order listed (with the exception of the couscous).  By the time I was down to the bottom of the ingredient list the chicken was partially cooked, so I put the lid on the frying pan and cooked it on low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.   As the chicken was cooking, I boiled the water to make the couscous and I chopped up some red peppers and cucumbers to put out on a plate with some dried apricots to serve with the chicken and couscous.

The meal was delicious, although William thought there were too many onions.  It is a meal that I will make again since it was easy to do and tasted good.

And now on to Libya!


  1. Grace, It looks and sounds delicious. And I *LOVE* onions ;P

    Have a great week!

    Ricki Jill

  2. I love ginger but I'm not sure about the chick peas! Your photos are beautiful though...

  3. Not sure if my last comment went thru Grace..I love this concept of Cooking Around the World. I just noticed your link to the other recipes at the top of your page. Perfect!

    Jeanne xx

  4. I love chick peas Grace! This looks like
    a great dish!!

  5. Hello, I'am new to your blog and I'am from Algeria, born there and move to France when I was 10 months and we use to go back every summer vacation. I really like this recipe even tough I've never tried it, looks delish. It's probably from the Algiers region where they like to use saffron, ginger and other spicies.

  6. It looks so yummy Grace! You do such a great job wtih your dinners! Angie xo