Moroccan Chicken

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Looking to try a different chicken dish? Moroccan chicken is the perfect way to go because this recipe relies on everyday supermarket spices and creates a hearty sauce with an array of flavors. This moroccan chicken is made with carrots, onions, chickpeas and apricots. The apricots added to this dish gives a sweet component to the savory spices and gives the dish complexity. This recipe only takes about an hour to prepare but is completely worth it to get all of the unique flavors together. One step that I though gave the chicken great tenderness was browning the chicken initially with some oil in a pan, just enough so that the chicken browns and doesn’t cook through. This way, the chicken is seared and when you add it back into the dish it doesn’t get tough and overcooked. This method can be used with most chicken dishes, especially ones that involve using the crock pot. Enjoy this chicken dish on a cold day, or when you are in the mood to try something  different!

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

3-4 pounds of chicken (can use a whole chicken or just a mixture of breasts and thighs. Bone in chicken is preferred but can use boneless)

1 T olive oil

2 onions, sliced

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 strips lemon zest

3 T lemon juice

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 1/4 tsp paprika

2 C chicken broth

1/2 T honey

5 carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 C dried apricots, quartered

15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed

2 T chopped cilantro

salt and pepper

 

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Directions:

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in dutch oven pan on high and when hot add the chicken pieces. Chicken should be in a single layer in the pan. If have to layer pieces because they don’t fit, cook chicken pieces that fit first, and then cook remaining pieces once previous pieces are browned. Cook all chicken pieces until browned on the outside, not fully cooked through. Set aside on a plate and leave about 1 tablespoon of fat/juice in pan and discard the rest. If skin is on chicken take off skin. Set chicken aside.
  2. Add onion and 2 lemon zest strips to pan and cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat, until onions are tender but still retain their shape. Add about 4 cloves of garlic to pan and then add the cumin, ginger, cayenne pepper, coriander, cinnamon and paprika. Stir well until spices come together (2 minutes). Add a little bit of water if pan becomes too dry.
  3. Add broth and honey and stir.
  4. Add thighs and drumsticks to pan. Lower heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add remaining pieces of chicken with the carrots. Cover and lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked (160-165 degrees).
  6. Remove chicken from pot and place on a plate with foil.
  7. Add chickpeas and apricots to pot and increase heat to medium-high and stir until liquid thickens and carrots are tender (5 minutes). Put chicken back in pot and add 1 glove of minced garlic and 1 lemon zest strip, lemon juice and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve.

Serve with cous cous.

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