2 lb mloukhiya leaves (fresh or frozen), washed and drained
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and pepper
¼ cup clarified butter
20 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped coarsely
In a large pot heat the vegetable oil and sauté the whole chicken to brown all over. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Skim off the scum that floats to the surface and discard.
Add the onions, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cardamom pods. Continue to cook gently, covered, for 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Strain the stock using a colander set over a second pot. Remove the chicken and debone. Set the meat aside.
Return the stock to the heat, stir in the mloukhiya leaves (if you’re using frozen leaves, you can add them without defrosting) and allow to come to a boil. Add the ground spices, salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
In a frying pan heat the butter, sauté the garlic for 1 minutes and add the cilantro. Allow to cook together for an additional 3 minutes. Pour over the mloukhiya stew and let simmer for 10 minutes more.
Remove from the heat and drop in the reserved chicken. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon, chopped cilantro and vermicelli rice on the side.