This is a very rustic Iraqi chicken dish that is similar in concept as tashreeb, but is cooked a bit differently.Bread is the main carbohydrate in here, and rice is not needed. The use of bread instead of rice is a dead giveaway of the authenticity of the dish, as it was not until the introduction of rice through Indian trade did it become a staple. Bread was the daily tummy-filler back in the day.
To soak the bread, the chicken is boiled for only 30 minutes, generating the soaking broth.
The dish is then assembled through calculated layering before it is baked to a golden splendor.
I personally did not like the texture of the bread after baking, so if you are like me, you might want to roast the chicken by its lonesome, then assembling the dish and soaking the bread 10 minutes before serving.
From the wonderful Iraqi Encyclopedia-cookbook, Delights from the Garden of Eden.
1 chicken (1.3-1.5kg)
2 bay leaves
1 onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods, whole
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 onions, finely sliced
2 Tbsp oil
2-3 cups fresh mushroom, quartered
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp chili
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp sumac
1 Iraqi tannur bread
Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and place in a pot with the bay leaves, quartered onion, cardamom pods, and salt.
Cover in cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.
Saute the sliced onions in oil until browned.
Add the quartered mushroom to the onion and saute a couple minutes more.
Add to the mushroom the coriander, chilli, salt, and pepper.
Saute until fragrant and set aside.
In a deep oven-proof dish, tear the tannur bread to cover the base.
Place the boiled chicken pieces over the bread, and spoon the mushroom mixture in between the chicken.
Sprinkle with the sumac, and ladle enough chicken water to reach within half an inch from the brim of the dish.
Bake uncovered for 1 hour.
Alternatively: bake the chicken until fully cooked, then assemble: bread, hot stock, roasted chicken, and mushroom mix.