Moroccan chicken

I may be the last one on my block to experiment with slow cooking techniques. If you have a slow cooker, tagine, heavy flame proof and oven proof casserole, or a clay cooking pot, try this Moroccan inspired chicken dish. Potatoes, onions and parsley can come from your farmers’ market, the lemons from a friend’s tree, and the dates and olives from a local market. The dish is fragrant and sweet offset by the tanginess of the lemon. This is the kind of dish you can start one evening for entertainment while hanging out listening to music. It only takes another hour of simmering the next night after work and putting a salad together to have a spectacular meal. Leftovers aka “planned overs” can be frozen for a quick already prepared meal another day.

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts each cut in half crosswise
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, excess fat removed
  • 1 big Meyer lemon cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 pound red potatoes halved or quartered if big to start
  • 1 big yellow or white onion cut into 1” chunks
  • 12 dates, pitted and halved
  • 12 green olives, pitted
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth

Directions

Mix the spice rub ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and coat it with the mixture. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the tagine or clay pot over medium heat and brown the chicken on both sides scraping the leftover marinade into the pot also. Some slow cookers have a removable aluminum insert to allow you to brown the chicken on a burner before slow cooking it. Add everything else. Simmer it covered for about three hours if you are going to eat it the same day or just part of that time if you are going to finish cooking it the next night. There is no one right length of time to cook this dish. Just sample it as you go along. I covered my tagine with plastic wrap to refrigerate it.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 376
  • Fat: 8 gm
  • Saturated fat: 1 gm
  • Trans fat: 0 gm
  • Cholesterol: 57 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 57 gm
  • Fiber: 7 gm
  • Sodium: 452 mg
  • Protein: 25 gm

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD