Arabic Chicken Casserole with a Spicy Relish - Fetat Jaj with Deaa

Arabic Chicken Casserole with a Spicy Relish - Fetat Jaj with Deaa


3 people made this

About this recipe: This dish is a square meal in itself. It uses pitta bread to line the bottom of a casserole dish, which is soaked in chicken stock, then topped with rice and chicken.


Serves: 8 

  • 2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 125ml lemon juice
  • 1 (1.6kg) whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 pitta breads
  • 550g cooked white or brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr10min  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

  1. To make the deaa, mix together the jalapeno, garlic, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This spicy relish should be offered on the side of the casserole, so that your guests can add spice to their taste.
  2. Place the chicken in a (hob and oven-safe) casserole dish and fill with enough water to cover; stir in the onion, 1 tablespoon of allspice, bay leaves, cardamom, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the grill.
  5. Remove the chicken pieces from the casserole dish and place on a baking tray; season each piece with salt and pepper and the remaining allspice. Reserve the chicken stock.
  6. Grill the chicken until it starts to crisp and turns golden brown.
  7. Cut the pitta bread into large chunks and arrange the pieces in layer across the bottom of a casserole dish, then spread the rice over the pita. Pour 1 litre of the reserved stock over the pita and rice, allow to stand for 5 minutes to soak in the stock. If necessary, add more stock to make the dish moist. Place the chicken on top of the rice and garnish with parsley.

Jalapeno pepper

Found in Indian/South Asian and Carribean stores. If unavailable, use Scotch Bonnets or other fresh chillies to taste

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Reviews (2)


Something else. I used chicken breasts rather than a whole chicken so I added some chicken stock and it worked well. Also I prefer not to grill the chicken at the end. - 16 Feb 2011


Great recipe! Really tasty and filling. Simple to make too - 16 Feb 2011

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