I first enjoyed Moroccan Chicken with couscous at a dinner at my church. I was hooked and I asked my friend Hilary, who made it, for her recipe. It’s become a staple in our house! It is a great freezer meal and I always think the leftovers the next day are the best.
Don’t be intimidated by all the spices – I recommend picking them up in the bulk spice section of your local Winco, Fred Meyer or co-op. A little bit goes a long way – and your house will smell AMAZING! You can also look for couscous in bulk – it’s much cheaper that way.
And although it seems like a complicated recipe, it’s totally worth it (I promise!). Next week I’ll go for simple.
- About 2 – 3 pounds of chicken
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 1 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 – 2 cups of chicken stock or broth
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cinnamon stick, chopped in pieces
- 8 whole cloves
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (it’s hot, so add more if you like spicy food)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Toast first eight ingredients of the spice mix over medium/low heat for a couple of minutes until the fragrance of Moroccan spice is wafting throughout the kitchen (but not burnt Moroccan Spice – so keep an eye on it). Let the spices cool and then grind them up with the salt and sugar in a coffee grinder or food processor until you get a fine spice rub.
- Cut the chicken into large pieces (about 3” pieces), toss in spice rub and let it hang out for about 20 minutes. Sear the chicken in extra virgin olive oil on high heat in a heavy bottomed pot (preferable cast iron). Remove chicken and set aside. Decrease heat to medium. Add more oil and sauté onion and garlic for a few minutes until they start to get soft. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander and bay leaf. Add flour and butter and sauté for a minute to cook out the flour taste. Add stock and cook until thickened. Add tomatoes, chickpeas and chicken to the pot. Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until chicken is cooked and chickpeas have started to soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You really can’t screw this recipe up. I know, because I’m the kind of person who would find a way, if it was possible.
Enjoy with couscous, rice or other starch!
A couple notes:
- For a vegetarian variety, exclude chicken, triple chick peas and use vegetable stock (instead of chicken stock)
- I’ve used fresh tomatoes instead of canned – it tasted great
- If you decide you like the recipe, you can make up a bunch of the Moroccan spice mix ahead of time.
- This recipe freezes beautifully. Just put in freezer bag or Seal-A-Meal packages and it’s a great last minute meal.
Let me know what you think!