I haven’t yet been to Morocco, but it’s on my hit list. Regardless, I can still make Moroccan Chicken and pretend to be there……sort of.
Anyway, this is a great mid-week meal and can easily be scaled up in quantity to cater for a large group, or a hungry family. The method is easy, the flavours are great and the effort factor is minimal – can I get a “hell yeah!”
Another great thing about any type of stew is being able to mix up the sides. Normally with a dish like this I would do couscous on the side, but after having it two meals in a row we felt like we might be over doing it having it a third time. There’s such a great variety of alternatives now a days that we truly are spoilt for choice. We opted for white quinoa this time and it worked really well – lighter than rice and just as filling, it was a perfect companion to this meal.
The side bits are what really make this meal fun. We served up one large bowl of the chicken in the middle of our table and surrounded it with little optional add ons like chopped coriander, toasted flaked almonds, pomegranate seeds to sprinkle on top for a pop of flavour, a big bowl of seasoned quinoa and a Greek yoghurt with some chopped coriander and chilli in it.
This is a great family meal and best of all it gets everyone making up their plate just to their liking. Dinner (and in fact food in general) should be more than a necessity, it should be about fun and bringing people together. Why else do we have dinner tables after all? So get the family off the sofa, away from the TV and around the table!
1.5 kg skinless chicken thigh fillet, diced
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cardamom
1 pinch of saffron threads
6 vine ripened tomatoes (500 g), diced
250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs orange-blossom water
2 Tbs flaked toasted almonds
¼ cup coriander leaves
White quinoa, to serve (follow packet instructions)
- Heat a heavy-based saucepan over a medium–high heat. Add a generous splash of oil and cook the chicken pieces until golden brown all over. This may need to be done in batches. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat. Add more oil, if necessary, and cook the onion for 3–4 minutes, stirring often, until soft. Add the garlic, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, cardamom and saffron. Cook for 1–2 minutes, then add the diced tomatoes. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Raise the heat, add the stock and chicken and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30–40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
- Raise the heat under the saucepan and reduce the cooking liquid until it’s the consistency of thick cream. Add the honey and continue to cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring often, until it’s reduced slightly.
- Check seasoning and add orange-blossom water. Remove from the heat.
- Put your chicken into a large bowl and serve in the middle of your dinner table surrounded by a bowl each for the toasted almonds, coriander leaves and quinoa. If you like, follow the tips above for the extras we served up with ours.
*Recipe adapted from SBS Foods