When we decided to do cinnamon as one of our secret ingredients, I immediately thought of Moroccan food. One cooking utensil that’s on my kitchen wish-list is a tagine, which is a Moroccan clay pot in which slow cooked stews of the same name are made. Since I don’t have a tagine, I decided to make a quick Moroccan stew. I surfed the net, looked at a ton of recipes, took ideas from several recipes, and added a few of my own ideas to come up with my main dish. It’s a quick, easy meal that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner when you just want to have something a little exotic. Try it tonight!
QUICK MOROCCAN CHICKEN STEW
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 ½ pounds), cut into large bite-size pieces
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, cut into large chunks
2 carrots, cut in a large dice
4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped (depends on how much garlic you like)
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I like Saigon cinnamon)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
For garnish: chopped almonds, chopped Kalamata olives, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped fresh parsley
For serving: couscous, cooked to package directions
In a large, deep skillet with lid, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned on both sides, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add a little more olive oil if you need to, and then add the carrots and sauté for3-4 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, and chickpeas and season with salt and pepper; sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Put the chicken back in the skillet with the veggies. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and chicken stock and stir well to combine. Add the spices and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Prepare the couscous while the stew simmers.
Serve the stew over the couscous and top with your choice of garnish (I used them all).
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg