Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Marvelous Moroccan Inspired Chicken
So now that you know how to make Peerless Preserved Lemons, what do you do with them? Well as I said there are dishes from around the world that call for them but my favorite is this Moroccan Inspired Chicken hotpot. A hotpot is basically an all in one dish where the flavors blend and meld in one big pot which is perfect for when you want something you can throw in the crockpot and forget about until dinner. The bonus with this dish is that it tastes exotic enough that people might believe you spent the day slaving over a hot stove to make it!
Now you may ask why I call it Moroccan Inspired and not just straight Moroccan chicken. Simply put I didn't follow a recipe exactly but I was inspired by a few. It started with Dorrie Greenspan's book "Around My French Table". I had received the book as a Christmas gift from my husband and I was dying to try some of the recipes. One in particular caught me eye and sounded divine, "Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes." I could taste it in my mind the sweetness of the potatoes and the prunes with the warmth of the spices, it spoke to me. You might wonder what this has to do with preserved lemons, but I'm coming to that. You see as simple as the recipe was, I didn't have a number of the ingredients. However they put me in mind of the many recipes I had seen online for Moroccan Chicken. the spices were similar as was the cooking method and the general flavor profile wasn't far off. So I scanned dozens of recipes online and took bits and pieces from different ones that I liked until I had an ingredient list that I liked and had on hand. I decided also that this would work well in a crockpot so in it all went and a new household favorite was born.
As I said I sort of threw this together the first time so feel free to adjust the seasoning to suit. This recipe serves 4.
Moroccan Inspired Chicken
4 Chicken thighs browned (bone in)
3 Cloves garlic crushed and roughly chopped
1 Preserved lemon roughly chopped
2 Medium onions roughly chopped
4 Carrots chopped (1/2 in pieces)
1 Orange peeled, sectioned and chopped
1 12oz can Low Sodium Chicken broth
1 Star Anise (remove before serving)
2 Bay leaves (remove before serving)
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cayanne
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Cinnimon
1-2 tbsp Honey
4-6 Prunes quartered
In a pan brown the chicken, skin side down, in a small amount of butter or oil. Add the carrots and onions to the Crock Pot. Next add the chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Ideally you want the liquid to just cover everything in the pot. If it doesn't at first, check back later and as things start to release their own juices you will be able to press anything above the surface down a bit deeper. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken comes away easily from the bone.
This is delightful served with rice or couscous or even a nice crusty bread. The chicken will melt in your mouth and you will want to sop up every last drop of the delicious rich broth. Enjoy!