Monday Meal Review: Kuwait

THE SCENE: Giving up the Leg

There comes a time in every mother’s life when she has to hand over the ceremonial wand, so to speak. When she must forgo eating the glorious chicken leg out of love for her daughter – her daughter who has suddenly decided that dark meat is the new bees-knees, at the ripe old age of 2.45.

This was just such a week for me.

Miss Ava loved the Machboos so much that she not only ate what was once “my” chicken leg, but she also ate her papa’s too.

This was serious. Could it be the seasoning? The browned crackly skin?

I’m not sure. But I do know that I may never sink my teeth into a chicken drummette again. I know. I was once my mother’s kid. And my brother Damien and I always took the legs. Always. Even on Thanksgiving.

THE FOOD:

Machboos [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

There is genius in the Kuwaiti method of simmering, then roasting the chicken. First, it cooks much faster. Second, it is moister. Third, the seasoning in the water infuses the meat.  Fourth, you end up with lovely broth to use as you see fit. I may never cook chicken any other way.

As for the family – Ava and Mr Picky received this really well. Thanks to the Persian part of this Adventure, Ava has really gotten used to caramelized onion and raisin toppings and has come to crave them with her rice. Even Mr Picky observed that “a lot of countries add raisins and nuts to their rice. It’s good.”

What I liked least about this dish:

Initially, I was daunted by what seemed to be a lot of work. I couldn’t have been more wrong – the steps flow together and it’s done before you know it. The first time you do anything it takes a bit longer… but it is definitely going to be a feature around our Global Table.

Daqqus Sauce (Kuwaiti Tomato Sauce) [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

This is a very different method from any tomato sauce I’ve made before. Normally, I cook everything on the stove, then puree. This is much simpler and easier to deal with on a week night. It would be fun to mix in different kinds of peppers and various herbs. All family members were happy with it and really, why not?  I’d happily eat my weight in a good, basic red sauce like duqqus.

What I liked least about this dish:

I only used part of my poblano because it tasted really spicy to me when I picked it from the garden. After cooking for a while, all the heat was gone, so I’ll be more brave next time.

My Kuwaiti PB&J [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

Ava ate and ate and ate this dip, with little more than her finger (or “fingon” as she calls it). She adored the sweet date syrup. Personally, I really, really dislike tahini, which is funny because I actually enjoyed this dip. The date syrup completely transform tahini’s intense flavor into playful sweet/savory pb&j goodness. Chalk it up to another mind opening experience on this Adventure.

What I liked least about this dish:

I’ll double the date syrup next time. Heck, I might even triple it. Did you know date syrup makes good French toast topping as well? Yep.

Ava’s Corner:

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Comments

  1. Jessica Bennett says:

    I never thought of blending tomato sauce before cooking. I’ve always done it right on the stove too. By the way, where did you get the sweater Ava is wearing in the video? Is it a purchase from a typical retail store as opposed to a thrift shop or hand-me-down? A friend of mine has been complaining that he can’t find plain sweaters anymore.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      That sweater was a hand me down – the label says copper key – but I don’t know who sells that label. Maybe a department store?

      • Jessica Bennett says:

        He’s tried department stores. I recommended Children’s Place. I didn’t think it would be that hard to find a simple sweater, but I guess when the hooded look is in, they don’t make them without.

  2. elisa waller says:

    ummm…Im thinking this is how I’ll make my Thanksgiving “Chicken” Im a little nervous…Ive never simmered a turkey…I mean a chicken before….<3

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