Chicken with potatoes and onions

My friend Kerene uses an expression which always makes me smile: “It’s a no-brainer!

When I was fretting over a catering job that I felt ill-prepared for, her answer was: “Come on, Joumana, it’s a no-brainer!”

Well, this herewith is truly a no-brainer, Lebanese-style.

Stir-fry some chicken and veggies and add a typical homestyle Lebanese touch of flavor at the end of cooking.

Some cilantro pesto and a squirt of lemon, if desired.

C’est tout.


  • 2 pounds of deboned chicken thighs (1 kilo)
  • 1 pound of small boiler onions (substitute 3 onions, sliced)
  • 2 or 3 large sweet potatoes (substitute white baking potatoes or small fingerling potatoes)
  • olive oil, as needed (substitute clarified butter or ghee)
  • 8 garlic cloves, mashed with a dash of salt
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, washed and leaves chopped (the equivalent of half of a cup)
  • one lemon


  1. Coat the chicken with spices (paprika, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, salt, pepper) and marinate in yogurt for an hour or longer, if you have time. Otherwise, just skip this step. Dry the chicken pieces and dip in flour. Heat some oil or ghee in a pot and fry the chicken a few minutes on both sides until golden-brown. Set aside.
  2. Add more oil and fry the onions till browned and then the potatoes. Add the chicken and one cup of water to the pot, cover and cook for 10 minutes until the veggies and the chicken are thoroughly cooked.
  3. In a small skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil; add the mashed garlic and chopped cilantro and fry 30 seconds until fragrant but not browned. Dump the cilantro pesto in the chicken and veggies and mix.
  4. Squirt some lemon if desired and serve.

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  1. Posted November 28, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Mmmmmmm…sounds wonderful! I will try this scrumptious recipe as we eat chicken a lot and always love to try something new.

  2. Posted November 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I like your descriptions in this homely dish….dump the cilantro! Like your friend’s a no-brainer delicious supper.

  3. Posted November 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Sooo tempting dish, very inviting..

  4. Posted November 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    That does sound really easy and yummy!

  5. Posted November 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    You know how much I love these simple quick meals. They make our lives so much easier sometimes. I like the combination of chicken and vegetables.

  6. Posted November 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    This looks like such a flavorful dish! I love the use of sweet potatoes here, I’m always looking for new recipes to use them!

  7. Posted November 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    A nice rustic dish. I’ve become quite a fan of sweet potatoes.

  8. Posted November 28, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Dear Joumana – You are a Sweetheart! I didn’t know WHAT to fix for dinner tommorrow evening and we have just got back from out of town…here is the answer :) It’s whats for dinner tommorrow night. THANK YOU!!!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandlfavors

    Posted November 29, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    One of my favorite convenient herbs (cumin and allspice) with simple and clean flavors it’s mouth watering. I love what the yogurt does to tenderize and add richness to the chicken. What a tasty and a healthy dish, lots of great flavor and good for you.

  10. Posted November 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m back – We just had this for dinner – I used whole bone-in leg quarters and thre in a handful of golden raisins and it was MARVELLOUS!!!!! So delish over coucous that I am definately making this a staple in our home. THANKS Joumana :)

    Hugs, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  11. Joumana
    Posted November 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Devaki, so glad you liked it; love the idea of throwing golden raisins in it too!

  12. Posted November 30, 2010 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    if that’s not comfort food, i don’t know what is.

    happy holidays!

  13. Posted December 1, 2010 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    what a great dish! i love that you’ve flavored the chicken with some of my favorite baking spices, and hooray for cilantro! good stuff. :)

  14. Posted December 3, 2010 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    I am swooning just reading this recipe. Wow – your food is awesome. I am so grateful for finding your site. Thankyou for sharing these recipes with the world. Natasha

  15. Posted December 15, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Made this last night with a few changes and it was absolutely delicious! Found your site last week (although I can’t remember how) and I’m SO looking forward to cooking more of your recipes.

  16. Posted March 4, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Un plat original et savoureux…la classe en plus !!

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  1. [...] With Potatoes, Onions & Cilantro Pesto (adapted from Taste of Beirut) 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 4 oz. each 3 large onions, halved and then [...]

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