Recipe: Moroccan Chicken
Serves: about 6
Coffee: Try our Nicaragua-Mama Mina available here.
We are coffee people: We like flavor – big, complex flavor. But we are also friends and neighbors, and when we invite people over for the holidays, we like to serve dishes that everyone, including the children, can enjoy. To that end, we devised this one pot meal that we think of as “Moroccan-lite.” Although made in a pot instead of a traditional tagine, the aromatic spices and dried fruit give the chicken and couscous that layered Marrakech flavor. This is an excellent party dish when you are craving just the right amount of culinary adventure, and it can be initially simmered and held, then given the final simmer after the couscous is added and guests have arrived.
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced large
8 skinless chicken thighs (about 2.5 pounds)
2 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup dried apricots, halved
1/2 cup raisins
(Experiment with other dried fruits like dates, as long as you end up with 1 cup of dried fruit, cut to fit in spoon size)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chopped parsley
(Chop and mix these together in a small bowl, cover and put in fridge until ready to use.)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted if you’re feeling fancy
1-1/2 cups instant couscous
4 cups water
Place the chicken thighs in a Dutch oven (or other large heavy bottomed pot), and add carrots, onions, garlic, and spices. Add the water, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.
For party cooking: You can stop here, and just leave the pot covered on the stove until it is just about time to eat. Bring back up to a simmer, and then commence with the next step, giving yourself 15 or 20 minutes of additional cooking time before serving.)
Remove lid, turn off the heat, and stir in the dried fruit and couscous. Cover and let stand off of heat until most of the liquid is absorbed (it will be a slightly soupy) and the fruit is soft and plumped, about 12 minutes. Spoon out onto large platters, and sprinkle the cilantro, parsley and almonds over top.