This recipe is made with a type of pasta called Trahana (trah-hah-NAH) that is made from semolina together with either milk (sweet trahana) or yogurt (sour trahana). It’s dried and then crumbled into tiny little grains that are much like couscous in their appearance.
Note:While Trahana can be found in most ethnic grocery stores, if you need a substitute, you can try a small grain pasta like Acini di Pepe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6 - 8 Servings
- 3 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs (bone-in)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 4 – 5 whole allspice berries (Bahari)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup water (plus more as needed)
- 1 cup Trahana (see note)
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until nicely browned (turning once) about 7 – 10 minutes. You may need to brown in two batches.
Remove the chicken from the pot and discard the skin from the thighs. Set the pieces aside on a platter. Drain excess fat from the pot leaving approximately two to three tablespoons remaining.
Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, allspice berries, cinnamon stick and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lower the heat to medium low and return the chicken pieces (with the juices) to the pot. Simmer over medium low heat for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken again and set aside on a covered platter to keep warm. Add 1cup water to the sauce and the trahana. Increase the heat to medium high and allow the sauce to boil for 8 – 10 minutes or until the trahana has softened and absorbed most of the liquid. Stir the pot frequently to prevent sticking. You may need to add a little bit more water to the sauce depending on the absorption rate of the trahana.
Reduce the heat once more to medium low and return the chicken to the pot. Once the chicken is heated through you are ready to serve.