Dafina (Slow cooked Moroccan chicken stew)

    1 day 12 hours 30 min

    My Moroccan mother-in-law often makes this sweet and sour stew for Shabbat lunch. The spices (cinnamon, cumin, cloves, harissa, and nutmeg) and the long cooking time blends the flavours. My mother-in-law finishes the cooking on Shabbat hot plates. I, on the other hand, use a slow cooker. I start cooking around noon and I let simmer until noon the next day, adding water if necessary.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 10 

    • 500g chickpeas
    • 10 chicken whole legs
    • 10 raw eggs in their shells, rinsed
    • 2 onions, quartered
    • 1 whole bulb garlic
    • 1 large handful prunes
    • 500g wheat or barley grains
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 2 large pinches ground cinnamon
    • 2 pinches ground nutmeg
    • 2kg small firm potatoes, peeled
    • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 tablespoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon harissa paste (more or less according to taste)
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 large pinch ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1day  ›  Extra time:12hr  ›  Ready in:1day12hr30min 

    1. The night before, soak the chickpeas in a large bowl filled with water.
    2. The next day put the chickpeas in a large slow cooker, place the chicken legs on top, then the eggs in their shells, the onions, garlic, and prunes.
    3. Place the wheat in a container. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon paprika, 2 large pinches cinnamon, and 2 pinches nutmeg. Mix well, transfer to a muslin cloth (or coffee filters) and tie well. Do not overfill, because the wheat will triple in volume during cooking.
    4. Add the wheat bag and the potatoes to the slow cooker. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil, the honey, harissa and the remaining spices. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Add water to cover and and cook at medium setting for 5 to 6 hours. Then continue cooking at low setting until ready to serve (as long as possible). Check from time to time that liquid remains in the pot. When ready to serve, there should hardly be any juice left and the ingredients should have a nice brown colour.

    Healthy Slimming Option

    I always add vegetables to make a truly complete and balanced meal. Pictured are courgettes, but I use whatever I have on hand.


    I sometimes make this dish in a cast iron casserole. I cook over medium heat for 3 hours, then I let simmer over low heat or in the oven at 150°C / Gas 2 until noon the next day.

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