African Cuisine · Chicken · Soups & Salads

Moroccan Chicken Stew

moroccan stew

The fascination with Moroccan food continues. It’s a slow-budding relationship as my taste buds are still thrown off every time I taste fruit in a stew but I’m committed, determined, fine…plain ol’ stubborn. I need to cook my way through a cookbook dedicated to Moroccan cuisine so check back with me when I’m done. Or, just join me for dinner and dessert and we’ll eat our way through it?  Volunteers?

moroccanstew2

Sweet and savory may seem like an odd combination please tell me you haven’t tried one of these combinations and not fallen completely in love with it:

  1. Cranberry sauce and brie (or apples and brie)
  2. Pate and cherry jam.
  3. Prosciutto, cantaloupe, and arugula
  4. Thai coconut curries
  5. Moqueca (Brazilian fish stew)
  6. Madras lamb curry
  7. Orange chicken (I have no shame).

So let me add another sweet and savory dish to the list…

I’ve adapted the recipe slightly to account for any beginners just starting off with Moroccan food. I’d say the garnishes are necessary to balance out the sweetness of the stew. Who can really turn down feta cheese and couscous anyway?

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 sliced
  • 100g tomatoes
  • 100g ginger, roughly chopped (seems like a lot but it’s not)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 large butternut squash, deseeded and cut into big chunks. Save remaining half for another recipe, or if you prefer a sweeter stew, use all of the butternut squash (and omit potatoes)
  • 2 medium russet potatoes cut into big chunks the same size as the butternut squash.
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 50 g dried cherries

Garnishes

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • zest 1 lemon
  • handful mint leaves
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • Cooked couscous and natural yogurt

Directions

  1. Season the chicken. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a flameproof dish (I used a cast iron dutch oven) then brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic into a rough paste. Fry the sliced onion in the remaining oil in the dish until softened, then add the spices and fry for 1 min more until fragrant. Add the paste and fry for another few mins to soften.
  3. Return the chicken to the dish with the squash, stock, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 30 mins until the chicken is cooked through. Lift the chicken out and stir in the cherries, then continue simmering the sauce to thicken while you shred the chicken into bite-sized chunks. Stir the chicken back into the sauce and season.
  4. Mix the red onion, lemon zest, mint and feta. Scatter over the dish, then serve with some couscous and yogurt.
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