2/18/11

Moroccan chicken

This recipe for Moroccan chicken came about partially because my mom made it in Seattle, and my sister and my dad liked it. There is nothing strange about my sister and mom liking Moroccan chicken. But the fact that my dad liked a dish with spices other than your typical salt/pepper/garlic/parsley, is really saying something!

Last weekend I decided to have a few of my friends over for dinner and to make chili and cornbread. One pot dishes are my favorites: little work is required, and yet you have quite a bit of flavor. What does this have to do with Moroccan chicken, you might be wondering. Well, my twin, Anna, told me that she thought making chili for a dinner get together was rather boring and uninspiring. She suggested I make Moroccan chicken. And since Anna is older than me (by 30 minutes!), I listened.

I used some of the ingredients from the recipe my mom recited over the phone {she found it in a Costco magazine} and some of the spices from a recipe I've made for Robyn, and a few random additions of my own.

Moroccan Chicken (this is enough for 6-10 people)

Ingredients
olive oil
6 skinless & boneless chicken breasts, cubed
2 onions, thinly sliced (I used 1 red and 1 white)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch cayenne
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 green peppers cut into 1" chunks
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup golden raisins
parsley, chopped
1/2  cup slivered almonds, toasted
cous cous, cooked


Directions
1. Heat a bit of oil in a large soup pot. In several batches cook the chicken for a few minutes. There is no need to brown it. You just want to make sure it's not pink on the outside. Remove the chicken from the pot.


2. Add a bit more oil if necessary. Add onions and garlic to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes.


3. Add spices and cook for 2 more minutes. I had to add a bit of water at this point (you can also add more oil if you want).
4. Add carrots and peppers and cook for 5 more minutes.


5. Add crushed tomatoes and garbanzo beans. Bring everything to a boil. Add the chicken back to the pot. Also drop in the golden raisins. If there isn't enough liquid to cover the chicken, add a bit of water. I had to add about a cup. No big deal: you can also add more tomatoes if you have them, wine or even chicken broth. It's not neuroscience: it's cooking! Don't be scared and have fun.

6. Bring everything to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes. Make sure your chicken is cooked all the way through.

Note: I toasted the slivered almonds in a little cast iron skillet. You can toast them in the oven on a cookie sheet or even in a microwave.


Serve the Moroccan chicken over cous cous and top with almonds and parsley.


This dish turned out to be quite a party pleaser, which made me really happy.

Note: these are my new forks/spoons! Just something clean, classic and shiny ;)
Variations:

Use thighs instead of chicken breasts.
Add dried apricots instead of (or with) golden raisins.
Feel free to add other vegetables such as zucchini or thinly sliced potatoes.
You can also serve this as a stew without cous cous or serve it over mashed potatoes or rice.
What's your go to dish for a casual gathering with friends?

9 comments:

Lemmonex said...

And it was delicious. Excited to make this.

Heavenly Housewife said...

I love these flavours, great dish.
In my life, there is no such thing as a "casual gathering". Well, they may call it casual, but when hubby's family is coming around, you are expected to pull out a spread fit for a king each and every time :P. I dont enjoy it.
*kisses* HH

Delishhh said...

I love Moroccan food, still a place i want to go to and have never been. Great dish.

Leslie said...

Amazing flavors! i might be able to live on that

chezsasha said...

Ooh. Fabulous! Moroccan food is super.

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

this dish looks really good! it is so hard for me to feel inspired to make chicken other than chicken tenders of chicken chili, but this chicken looks so good i'm going to have to give it a try this week!

FOODalogue said...

Great looking dish but I must admit that my eyes went immediately to shiny cutlery. I thought hmmm she must shine them up before photo...no water marks or discolorations...and then I read "new". Yeah, that's the ticket.

Lael Hazan @educatedpalate said...

Fun, Flavorful, and easy. You have a winner :)

nicole said...

wow! there were a bunch of moroccan chicken recipes floating around the same time! yours looks like it has lots of sauce, which is good

others i saw: http://weekofmenus.blogspot.com/2011/03/moroccan-spice-chicken-wings-on.html

http://christiescorner.com/2011/02/21/recipe-moroccan-roast-chicken/

http://weekofmenus.blogspot.com/2011/02/moroccan-spice-rubbed-chicken-on.html

but, they all look very different that yours!