Saturday, 2 February 2008

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Admittedly, I don't often feature North African cuisine on these pages, as my major love is sub-Saharan African cookery, particularly West African cuisine (my wife is Liberian, after all). But Moroccan cuisine has a vibrancy and a mix of flavours and colours that no true gourmand can really ignore. As a result I'm presenting here (and nowhere else) my twist on the classic Moroccan Chicken Stew. I've made the recipe slightly richer (but staying true to Moroccan flavours). However, the dish is influenced by my wife's twist on a traditional Senegalese dish: CĂ«ebu Jen, which itself is probably highly-influenced by North African couscous-based dishes.

Moroccan Chicken Stew Recipe


8 chicken thighs, skinned
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp hot chilli powder
4 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
700ml chicken stock
400g canned, chopped, tomatoes
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced in 2cm square pieces
2 carrots, sliced
generous pinch of saffron
1 small aubergine, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp salt
550g chickpeas (canned or cooked), drained
900g hot, steamed couscous
100g seedless raisins
100g slivered almonds
8 tbsp mixed, finely chopped parsley and coriander

Add the oil to a metal casserole or Dutch oven and heat to medium hot. When ready add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes and the onion is soft and translucent. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, chilli powder, saffron, cloves and bay leaves and stir to combine. Add the chicken and chicken stock and turn-up the heat to medium high and continue to cook until the liquid comes to a boil.

Cover the pot, reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook for 25 minutes. At this stage add the tomatoes, green bell pepper, carrots, aubergine and salt. Allow to cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Place 1/8 of the pre-steamed couscous in eight soup bowls. With slotted spoon place a chicken thigh in the centre of the bowl and arrange the vegetables around the meat. Ladle the broth over the top and sprinkle the raisins and almonds over the top. Sprinkle the parsley and coriander mix over the top and serve immediately.

If you enjoyed this Moroccan recipe then you can find more North African Recipes and more Moroccan Recipes on the Celtnet Recipes site.

For more African Recipes, see the Celtnet Recipes Blog African Recipes page.

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