Our mother was kind enough to share her chicken 'makarouna' recipe. 'Makarouna', aka pasta is a staple of Tunisian cooking and one of our favorite versions is the one she makes with chicken. Spicy, tomato-y, and delicious; this pasta will quickly become a weekly staple in your home!
In a large pot, add the extra virgin olive oil, followed by the bay leaves, chili flakes, paprika, turmeric, tomato paste, minced garlic, and harissa paste. Turn the heat up to medium and allow to simmer for several minutes.
After a few minutes of simmering, add all the chicken pieces and allow them to brown nicely by occasionally turning them around with a wooden spoon. They should start to release their juices.
After about 10 minutes of cooking the chicken, add the 2 quarts of water and cover the pot with the lid. Allow the chicken to cook in the sauce.
After about 40 minutes of cooking, add the two potato halves as well as the salt into the sauce. Stir gently then cover the pot again. In the meantime, wash the two Anaheim peppers, remove the stems, then slice them lengthwise and add a pinch of salt inside.
After about 25 minutes of cooking, the potato should be cooked through (you can check by running a fork through one of the potato halves. If it goes through easily, it is cooked). At this point, you can add the Anaheim peppers. Allow them to cook in the sauce for about 10 minutes.
The pasta sauce should be done. Now all that remains is to boil the pasta in generously salted water, then transfer the cooked pasta into a large bowl that will be used to serve the pasta.
Scoop as much of the pasta sauce (leaving the chicken, potato, and peppers behind) and pour it over the cooked pasta. Mix the pasta with the sauce so the pasta is well coated, then garnish the pasta with the chicken pieces, potato pieces, and peppers. Pour the remaining sauce from the pot over the garnished pasta. Sprinkle a pinch of black pepper over the pasta. It is ready!
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