Moroccan Chicken With Olives

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I have to give another shout-out to my gal-pal Bethany on this one, who posted about this “easy Moroccan week-night chicken dish.” I don’t know that I’d quite call it “easy” because it included about a dozen spices, but once you get the ingredients in, it’s pretty low-maintenance. And oh, how lovely those Moroccan flavors are – the red pepper, lemon and salty green olives. Warmth of cinnamon, heat of the ginger, perfume of coriander and that distinctive tinge of Spanish saffron.

All soaking through the tender, swollen pearls of Israeli couscous.

Like, Bethany, I used a fresh lemon instead of preserved (just couldn’t find it). We also had unpitted olives. Next time, I would like to remove the pits because it’s a bit of a bummer to have to bite around them.

Adapted from “My Fake Food Blog” and Food52

Moroccan Chicken with Green Olives

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2.5 pounds chicken thighs (I used bone-in, skin-on)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 ½ cup small diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (I used ground, because didn’t have fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron
  • ½ cup green olives, rinsed
  • 2 preserved lemons, pulp removed; rind cut into strips (or zest and juice of 1-2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet or over medium high heat. Dry the chicken pieces and season them with salt and pepper. Place them in the skillet in batches and brown on all sides. Make sure the skins are nice and crispy, like a pork rind. Remove the chicken and place on a plate.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook until slightly softened. Add the ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper and stir together. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet so that 2/3 of the chicken is submerged. Add the saffron and stir to combine. Bring liquid to a simmer, cover the skillet and simmer on medium low heat 20 minutes. Add the olives and lemons. Cover and cook another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and turn the heat to high. Cook for another 6-8 minutes until sauce reduces slightly. Stir in the cilantro. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve chicken and sauce on a bed of couscous. Garnish with cilantro.

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Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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