Chicken and vermicelli - Dwida be djaj

Dwida (cha’ariya) is a one-pot North-African dish with some differences from one country to another. Some make it almost the way I made medfouna.

In our family, when it gets cold and nobody wants to spend hours to feed a crowd, dwida comes to mind. Besides, kids love it (of course, it’s pasta). It may not look well plated, but trust me, it’s tasty and belly-warming. That’s in my list of comfort food ideas.

Cha’ariya be djaj (vermicelli with chicken) is initially made of vermicelli and chicken parts that people may discard.  In Morocco, there are 2 types of broken vermicelli: thin and thick. The one used here is the thinner version. I’m not fan of the thicker vermicelli. The thiner one needs attention or it will be starchy. You just want it al-dente because it will soak more liquid and puffs.

If, for some reason, you are not into giblets, you can just cut the chicken into 8 pieces and cook them in the sauce instead, but then you have to adjust the cooking time.

If you want dwida soupy and saucy, you can leave some liquid in there. It’s good to know that it’s usually served thick (slightly more than in the picture above).


Serves 2 persons
Prep: 5 min – Cooking: 25 min
  • Giblets, drums, wings of 1 chicken
  • 200g of broken vermicelli (cheveux d’ange)
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 l Chicken stock
  • A pinch of saffron threads, 
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tbsp of fresh ginger or (1 tsp of ground ginger)
  • A handful of coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste  
  • 1 potato in cubes, optional

Mix all the ingredients together except olive oil and the pasta. Let simmer for about 25 min and until all is cooked through.

Fish the potatoes and the chicken parts, keep on the side.

The sauce
When you are ready to serve, massage the pasta with the olive oil. You might need more liquid so you are free to add water, simmer and then drop the vermicelli in the sauce. Stir. Let simmer for about 4 min, on low heat. Add the potato and the chicken parts.

Serve immediately.

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