This recipe is from Haaretz's archives.
Many readers don't even know how to pronounce the name of this dish, while others who are familiar with it will be overtaken by nostalgia at its very sound. "Sofrito" is a general name for a way of preparing meat, chicken and vegetables delicately in their own juices. Whatever meat you use, it's a tradition to add cubed browned potatoes. The result is a lovely dish suitable for beginning or ending the fast.
3 tbsp. corn oil
3 lge. onions, peeled and cut up
4 narrow, firm squash
4-6 fresh chicken thighs
1 celeriac, peeled, cut into squares
salt, pepper in moderation
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Option: 4-5 potatoes, cubed
1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or wok and fry the onions.
2. Rinse the squash; do not peel. Cut it into thirds and add it to the onions.
3. When the onions and the squash are golden, move them with a slotted spoon into the pot in which they will cook. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides in the hot liquid remaining in the skillet.
4. Peel the carrots, cut them into 2-cm. pieces and add them to the chicken for browning.
5. Move the chicken and the carrots into the pot with the onion and the squash, and add the cubed celeriac.
6. Season with salt and pepper - in moderation before the fast and generously on ordinary days. Add the lemon.
7. Add the water, bring to a boil, lower the flame, cover and cook on a very low flame for about an hour or until the ingredients are soft. Check from time to time and add water if necessary.
8. That's it - it's ready. Now you can saute the potato cubes with a little oil and when they're brown, add them to the pot and heat it all up together before serving.
Here's another idea: Rinse 2 cups of Persian rice well. Pour the juices created during the cooking of the soffrito into a separate pot, and bring to a boil. Add to it the rinsed rice, salt and pepper (in moderation before the fast), and enough boiling water so 1 cm. of liquid covers the rice. Bring to a boil, lower the flame, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Let stand until time to serve.
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