Fatteh (or fetta, or fetté) is a tasty Shami dish created to use up stale bread on which various ingredients are piled on top or mixed with it. The Shami region consistes of Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Some people consider Iraq to be a Shami country, others say it is an Arabian Gulf country.
Obviously, "various ingredients" means that there are almost infinite variations of this dish, some made popular, others created out of need to use up existing ingredients.
This particular fatteh is a favorite of ours, and the combination of these simple ingredients results in a surprising depth of flavor. Crispy fried flatbread (pita) is scattered as the foundation, on top of which lies a bed of earthy-spiced rice, cradling chunks of boiled chicken, all crowned with white yogurt and ruby jeweled fresh pomegranate seeds. You can also fry some pinenuts or almonds to sprinkle with the pomegranate.
All you need is a simple salad and you've got yourself a pretty indulgent meal.
1 chicken, boiled
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vinegar
6 small pita bread
2 cups rice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp allspice
3 cups plain yogurt
Reserve 1 cup of the chicken's boiling water.
Boil the reserved stock with the vinegar and crushed garlic for 3 minutes.
De-bone and remove the skin from the chicken, tear the chicken into large chunks.
Place the chunks into the vinegar-broth and simmer an additional 10 minutes; set aside and reheat just before assembling.
Remove half a cup of the broth and mix into the yogurt; set aside
Cut the pita into squares, fry to a golden brown; set aside.
Toss the washed and drained rice in 2 Tbsp oil, add the salt and allspice; saute for a minute more.
Add boiled water to just cover the rice, immediately cover and reduce heat to low.
Leave 20 minutes, until water is absorbed and grains fluffy.
To assemble, scatter the fried bread over the base of your large serving dish.
Pile the rice over the bread.
Scatter the re-heated chicken over the rice, pouring any extra broth on top.
Pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken.
Finally sprinkle the fresh pomegranate seeds (and fried nuts, if using) over the yogurt.
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