Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1172, (14 - 20 November 2013)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1172, (14 - 20 November 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Sufra Dayma: Oven baked pigeon tagine in creamy rice

Serves 4
4 pigeons (washed clean, drained, trussed)
1 onion (peeled, quartered)
2 cups Egyptian rice
4 cups whole dairy milk
2 chicken bouillons
1 cup pigeon soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup dairy milk cream (eshta baladi)
Salt + pepper + grated nutmeg + 2 cardamom pods + 2 bay leaves + 2 small mastic pods
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + 1 tbsp butter

Season pigeons with salt and pepper, inside-out before trussing.  Heat a large cooking pan on high.  Add 1 tablespoonful of oil then lower heat to medium.  Add mastic pods to dissolve in heat.  Add onion, bay
leaves, cardamom, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Stir until fragrant.  Add pigeons.  Stir gently just to colour.  Add boiling  water to completely cover contents by 2 inches.  Remove froth, if any, then cover and allow to cook, over low heat, until pigeons are half done.  Remove pigeons onto a wide dish aside, and cover.  In another container, heat milk, stirring to reach a boil, over medium heat.  Add bouillons.  Stir to dissolve.  Add sour cream.  Stir in to integrate with milk. Remove from heat.  Add rice to a large pottery clay tagine.  Pour milk mixture over rice, stirring just for a moment, to  combine.  Cover and allow to soak for 30 minutes, until rice swells and impregnates.  Stir in butter and remaining oil. Cover back.  Using a sharp knife, break lengthwise backbone of each pigeon to flatten the birds. Then turn to face breast  side of each.  Pressing by the end of your hand towards your wrist, break the wishbone of each pigeon to open wider. Strain one cup of pigeon soup and stir it into rice mixture.  Insert pigeons, one by one, as near to base of tagine as possible, and in one layer.  Distribute the dairy cream (eshta) on top.  Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven of 200 degrees.  When top is golden, remove from oven and allow to rest for ten minutes before serving.  Serve with a rich green salad. 

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