A tireless advocate of natural health in Ireland is natural food chef and author Oliver McCabe and, as I chatted to Ollie at the Vitality Expo, I thought of how long it had been since we’ve shared one of his wonderful recipes. So as we head into the time when we all want nourishing and warming soups and casseroles here’s Oliver’s recipe for Mediterranean Chicken and Chickpea Stew. What a doddle, prep it in 15 minutes, cook it in 40! Because of the addition of herbs and spices, olives and lemons the flavour is divine and the lean protein, chickpeas and millet make it super nutritious. Try this one when there’s a chill in the air and your body’s craving comfort.
I thought it was a bit too dry and added 2 tins of tomatoes. Like all casseroles it probably tastes better after a few hours or even the next day so well worth making in advance. Could easily be made vegetarian or vegan. Replace chicken with tofu, quorn, tempeh or seitan, any non meat protein of choice.
3 fillets of free range chicken, diced
2 medium leeds
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
11/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground fennel seed
1/2 tsp Himalayan fine rock salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g can of chickpeas, rinsed & drained
12 Kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cooked millet or basmati rice
80g feta cheese, broken into small pieces to garnish
1. Trim the leeks, slit them in half lengthwise and rinse well under running water to remove any sand or grit. Coarsely chop the leeks.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low to medium heat. Add the chicken, leeks, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, salt and cayenne pepper.
3. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is browned and the leeks are soft.
4. Add the tomatoes with their liquid, the chickpeas, olives and lemon zest to the cooked chicken and leeks and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the tomato sauce is very thick.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
7. Serve immediately over cooked millet, rice or with wholewheat bread and garnish with the feta cheese.