Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On the Menu: Moroccan Food

Delicious and makes your house smell so good!!

That's what I would have to say to describe the Moroccan recipe I have for you today.  Moroccan food uses a lot of exotic spices from all over the Mediterranean, African, and Arabian areas that surround it.  Their cuisine is renowned for it's wonderful flavors and I couldn't wait to try it.  

I would have loved to go to a traditional Moroccan restaurant and maybe eat sitting on comfy cushions around a low table, drinking sweet mint tea but this week is a busy one so I cooked our meal at home.  In the slow-cooker, while I was doing a million other things! 

They use a type of slow cooker in Morocco too, called a tangine.  It's a clay vessel that you use in the oven and it keeps the meat and other ingredients moist by keeping the steam and juices inside- like a crockpot, right?  So while I was getting presents ready for my husbands birthday (Happy Birthday Darling!) and making cupcakes our house was being filled with the most delicious smells!  Try it, you'll see.

Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Olives
Recipe adapted from one found on  
For the recipe you will need:
  • 3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small onion cut in wedges
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 3/4 cup green olives
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • prepared couscous or rice to serve with
  • toasted sliced almonds (optional)
1.  Combine your chicken, onions, and spices in the bowl of the slow cooker.  Make sure the spices are evenly coating the chicken.  

2.  Add the bay leaf and the chicken broth and cook on HI for about 2 hours or so.  I think mine was closer to 2 1/2.

3.  After 2 hrs add the garbanzo beans, half of the apricots and olives.  Stir it all around and cook for another hour on HI or turn it to low and give it a few hours.  

4.  I wanted a thicker sauce so about 15 minutes before I was ready to serve dinner I drained the sauce into a saucepan and reduced it on the stove.  I added a few more dashes of the spices and the rest of the apricots.  Once the apricots had plumped up and the sauce was a little thicker I added it back to the crockpot and cooked my couscous.

This was a very tasty dish.  I wasn't too sure about olives and apricots together but somehow it worked.  The chicken was super tender and the sauce soaked into the couscous wonderfully.  The spices weren't overly strong, very delicate but flavorful!!  I'm sure my kids would've really enjoyed it if they weren't too full from the cupcakes they had before dinner (bad mommy).  They ate couscous.  Are you familiar with couscous? 

It is a very small, quick cooking pasta that seems more like rice to me.  It's super easy to cook.  All you do is add it to boiling water, remove it from the heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.  Then you fluff it up and serve it with anything you like.  I recommend serving it with Moroccan Chicken w/ Olives and Apricots!!!! 

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