Meloukhia, a leafy green very popular in rural Egypt, is traditionally the base of this dish. Because it's sometimes hard to find, we've replaced it with a similar yet more subtly flavored green: spinach.
8 cups water
2 cardamom pods
1 (2 1/2-pound) chicken, skinned
1 large onion, halved
1 bay leaf
2 (10-ounce) packages fresh spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups hot cooked rice
How to Make It
Combine the first 5 ingredients in an 8-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove from heat. Remove the chicken from the pan, and place in a bowl; cool. Strain the chicken broth through a cheesecloth-lined colander or fine sieve into a bowl, reserving onion; discard the remaining solids. Return the broth to the pan. Remove the chicken from the bones, discarding bones; shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Keep warm.
Place onion in a bowl, and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add onion to broth; bring to a boil. Add spinach to broth in batches, cooking until wilted.
Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add coriander, salt, and garlic; sauté 30 seconds or until garlic begins to brown. Add to spinach mixture, and stir in lemon juice. Serve chicken and spinach mixture over rice.