O is for Oman: Chicken Maraq (Chicken Stew)

The lime juice, cumin, and cilantro suggest a Mexican flair, but the other spices make this chicken stew distinctly Middle Eastern

The lime juice, cumin, and cilantro suggest a Mexican flair, but the other spices make this chicken stew distinctly Middle Eastern

For our latest installment of Cooking Around the World, I had absolutely no options.  The only country beginning with the letter “O” is Oman.  No anticipation while the random number generator did it’s thing.  No hoping for or dreading a particular outcome.  Just starting research.  And you know what?  This was a difficult country to research!  While Oman has history dating back hundreds of years, a national cuisine was harder to pin down.

With or without the broth, this is simply delicious!

With or without the broth, this is simply delicious!

Eventually, I found a recipe for chicken maraq, which is essentially a chicken stew.  Unfortunately, this seems to be more of a regional dish than a national dish (so we might see something similar when I’m faced with Yemen in a few weeks), but beggars can’t be choosers.  Overall, we were very pleased with this dish.  I had to improvise a bit — much like my dish from Bahrain, I couldn’t find dried limes — but I made do.  And it was so flavorful!  Between the lime juice and the spices, the broth was so bright and distinct from what I’d typically expect from a stew.  Even my husband, who is still reticent to eat dark meat, was in love with how tender this was.

This might not be a trip to Oman specifically.  But I tried my best, so let’s just pretend, okay?  Wherever this is authentically from, it’s absolutely delicious!

Chicken Maraq – Omani Chicken Stew

Adapted from http://www.nestle-family.com/recipes/english/by-course-or-type-main-meal-poultry_Chicken-Maraq_8185.aspx

Ingredients

Chicken, potatoes, and tomatoes in broth.  Mmmmmmm.

Chicken, potatoes, and tomatoes in broth. Mmmmmmm.

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 – 6 bone in, skin removed chicken thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • A few whole cloves
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chunked

Directions

  1. Heat butter over medium heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Sauté onion until translucent.
  2. Add chicken to pan and brown on all sides.
  3. Add garlic, spices, tomatoes, tomato paste, and lime juice, and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add stock, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in potato chunks and cook for another 15-20 minutes until potatoes are cooked through.
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