Recipe courtesy of Rafih Benjelloun

Cornish Hen Vermicelli: Shaaria B'd Djaaj

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Share This Recipe


1 pound vermicelli (called chaa'ria or shaarya), broken into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons olive oil

2 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish game hens, cut into 8 pieces

2 medium onions, diced

1 medium tomato, chopped

3 cups water

1 cup fresh green peas

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 teaspoon black pepper

6 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, chopped

2 to 3 bay leaves

Pinch saffron

1 cup canned, drained chickpeas, rinsed


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the vermicelli and cook until al dente. Drain and toss with the 1 teaspoon of olive oil while still hot. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the hen pieces and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add the tomato, water, peas, ginger, turmeric, pepper, parsley, bay leaves, saffron, and chickpeas and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced by 1/3, about 45 minutes.
  3. Spread the vermicelli on a large platter. Pour over the some of the sauce and gently mix. Top with the hens and chickpeas. Add remainder of sauce, as desired, and serve.