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Moroccan Chicken – warming for the cooler months

This Moroccan inspired dish has nice warming flavors. Chicken thighs are rubbed with a spice mixture of ground cumin and cinnamon. Additional flavorings such as a sauté of onions, garlic and coins of ginger round it out. Serve over rice. You’ll make people happy.

Moroccan Chicken over rice (rice is white rice with a teaspoon of ground turmeric added for color and health benefits)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (plus extra for balancing seasoning)
  • 5 – 6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in-half then sliced into half-moon slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced (or pasted via a garlic press)
  • 3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced into rounds (peel the ginger root with the back of spoon, then slice into “coins”)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Procedure

  1. In a bowl, combine and mix the cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper; Rub the spice mixture into the chicken.
  2. In a large heavy bottom pot (Dutch oven) heat oil over medium-high. Cook chicken, skin side down, until golden, about 4 minutes; flip and cook an additional 4 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
  3. Add onions to your pot and lightly season with salt and pepper, sauté until translucent.  Add ginger coins, garlic, red pepper flakes and stir to combine with a light sauté of an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add raisins to the mixture, place chicken pieces on top (skin side up) and any juices from the plate. Add the can of tomatoes, lightly breaking up the tomatoes and season lightly with salt and a little pepper. The chicken should just be barely visible above the surface of the tomatoes to create a nice braise. If necessary, add a touch of water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, them lower heat to medium low and cover the pot cooking (at a simmer) for at least an hour (1 1/2 hours would be optimum).
  5. Serve over rice or other grain of your choice.

Note: If you want to be extra decadent, before serving, remove chicken to a platter and cook the sauce reducing it. Add a couple of tablespoons unsalted butter and incorporate. Place the chicken back into the dish and serve.

Slow Cooker Alternative

In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker, place  the sautéed chicken, freshly sliced onion, garlic, and ginger, crushed red pepper (season to balance flavors). Add chicken, skin side up, then top with tomatoes and their liquid and raisins. Cover and cook on high until chicken is tender, 3 1/2 hours (or 6 hours on low).

Stew bubbling away

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