Trail Rations: Qadiran Cockatrice Thighs

I like to encourage my regular Thursday night group to eat less junk, and to that end I often cook up a meal for us to enjoy before the game. Last time I posted a recipe for a hearty stew, but this time I wanted to get a little fancy.

Since we’re playing Pathfinder, I enjoy tricking out the dishes I cook to fit areas of Golarion. Things like this can really help to add an extra dimension to your game world, because the smells and tastes of cooking can evoke a very strong sense of place. If you are at all cooking inclined, I highly encourage you to give it a try at your next game night.

Since Qadira is the default Middle Eastern/North African area of the world I filed off the serial numbers of a Moroccan Chicken recipe I had filed away, and renamed it to suit the setting. Since cockatrice is very much a rare speciality cut of meat in our world, I substituted chicken thighs instead. Also, I find the dish a low to moderate heat but you might not share my love of spicy foods; in that case cut the amounts of paprika and cayenne pepper in half and you should be fine.


  • 1 tray of chicken thighs, approx. 12-14 pieces.

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 3 carrots, sliced

  • 3 stalks celery, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained

  • 1 zucchini, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

To Prepare:

  1. Season chicken with salt and brown in a large saucepan over medium heat until almost cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  2. Saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery in same pan. When tender, stir in ginger, paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and turmeric; stir fry for about 1 minute, then mix in broth, dates, and tomatoes. Return chicken to pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas and zucchini to pan and bring to simmering once again; cover pan and cook for about 15 minutes, or until zucchini is cooked through and tender. Stir in lemon juice and serve.

This can be served as is, or you can make up a side of lentils or brown rice and serve over that. Or serve with naan for dipping, scooping. This makes enough for six people.

There you go! Fast and delicious food to help your players immerse themselves in the game world. Better than trying to convince them the Doritos are Dwarven…

Do you cook for your games? Have any recipes to share? Drop them in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Trail Rations: Qadiran Cockatrice Thighs

  1. Good on’ya RG! My wife and I try to offer our gaming group a decent meal as well (it helps that we like to cook).

    However I’ve only once cooked a meal based upon a D&D session. Only it was the description of the meal in-game that made me think, “huh, wonder if that would actually be any good?” So I decided to try making it.

    The meal was what I termed in the game a “harvest cake”. Basically it consisted in a whole bunch of different kinds of left-over roast tubers and potatoes that were mashed together and then grilled in a bit of bacon grease over a griddle. Have to say, wasn’t half bad!

    • Nice! Yeah, I’ve loved the idea of pairing food with games ever since the 2nd Ed. Forgotten Realms days. The Volo’s Guides would have the occasional recipe in them, and often talked about various dishes from around the FR. I still like to cook a pastry-coated roast recipe I got from one of the Guides.

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