Is it time to restock your spice pantry? This easy one-dish chicken recipe is a real hit. The chicken is moist and flavorful, the sauce perfumed with Moroccan-style spices.
Are your spices a model of management or a muddle of a mess?
My personal spice system (is orderly confusion a system?) dates back to my first apartment with its supermarket skillets and single cupboard.
And it’s worked great until recently. But those neat little Tone’s red and green containers simply aren’t big enough any more.
Spices give your taste buds a vigorous workout. Doubling, even tripling, the spices make a food taste, well, bigger – and importantly, bigger but not fatter.
MOROCCAN CHICKEN is redolent with the depth of paprika and the bite of ginger, the musk of fennel and the heft of cumin, all lifted up by the bright contrast of lemon. It’s simply pungent with flavor.
Try increasing the spices – and dropping the fat – with favorite recipes. They may surprise you!
Time to table: 60 minutes
- 1 pound fresh eggplant, cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika or pimentón, the smoky Spanish paprika
- 2 teaspoons whole fennel seed
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock or Homemade Vegetable Bouillon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1-1/2 lemons)
- 1 pound chicken thighs, bone-in or bone-out, skin removed and fat trimmed
- Chopped cilantro
ROAST EGGPLANT Set oven at 400F/200C. Toss eggplant in 1 tablespoon olive oil until evenly coated. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes (no need to wait for oven to fully heat) or until light brown.
MAKE SAUCE Heat a Dutch oven on medium high, heat the second tablespoon olive oil until shimmery. Add onion and garlic and stir to coat with fat; sauté until golden. Add spices, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
COOK Reduce heat, add chicken thighs, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Turn thighs over, cover, simmer another 10 minutes. Add eggplant, simmer 10 minutes uncovered.
To serve, top with cilantro and serve with Oven-Baked Rice or something else that will soak up the fragrant juices.
OVEN OPTION If you have a tagine like this one, make the chicken in that. My idea would be to mix the tomato mixture and the roasted eggplant, nestle the chicken thighs in, then cook at 350F/175C for 45 minutes.
MAKE-AHEAD Like many stews, this is very good when eaten straight off the stove but a day of refrigeration helps meld the flavors and slightly thicken the sauce. Plan for leftovers!
Perfumed with Moroccan-Style Spices
Yes, that's a lot of spices! But I don't recommend cutting back the quantity. Commenters on the inspiring recipe called the recipe "bland" when the spices were cut back.
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