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

    1 hour 30 min

    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.

    4 people made this

    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 in English (3)


    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


    The chicken part of this recipe was actually very good. Simmering it and then broiling it leaves it very tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. I love the flavoring. Regarding the deaa, found it to be too watery...maybe it's my fault for using canned jalapenos, but I really think it called for too much lemon juice. I ended up throwing it in a blending with some Greek Yogurt and it made more of a "sauce" which was quite good. As far as the rice and pita bread, well this is where the recipe falls apart. It was WAY more rice than I needed. I would have made half. I also thought soaking the rice and pita bread in the stock was quite gross. It was really just soggy bread..and I even cut the stock in half. I'd definitely make this chicken and a "deea sauce" again, but will leave out the soggy carbs!  -  14 Mar 2013  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)