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DELICIOUS MOROCCAN CHICKEN STEW

DELICIOUS MOROCCAN CHICKEN STEW

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • 1 ½ kg bone-in skin-on chicken – I used a mix of chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, or tomato of choice, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried peaches or apricots
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • fresh chopped cilantro, for serving

Brown the chicken.  Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.  When the skillet is hot, add the chicken pieces, fitting as many into the skillet that will fit comfortably.  Work in batches to brown the chicken, cooking each side for approximately 2 – 3 minutes only (the chicken will not be cooked through entirely).  Remove chicken to a clean plate and repeat until all the chicken has been browned.
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat (at least 10 quarts).  Add the olive oil and onions and mix well.  Sauté the onions for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the carrots and continue to cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent.  Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the garlic. Cook for 30 – 60 seconds, mixing continuously.
Add the paprika, salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, fennel seeds, cumin, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon.  Mix well to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 – 60 seconds, stirring continuously.
Add the chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix well to combine with the onion and spices.  Add the water and increase the heat to medium-high.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Arrange chicken pieces back into the pot (if the sauce is extra thick, add an additional cup or two of water).  Return pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and allow the chicken to simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.  After 20 – 30 minutes, turn the chicken over, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Gently stir in cubed potatoes, raisins, dried fruit and marjoram into the chicken and continue to cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove cover and cook over medium-high heat for an additional 15 minutes or until potatoes are fully cooked.
Season stew with additional lemon juice, salt, paprika, or other spices as you see necessary. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and fresh cilantro for serving.

Recipe posted by Adam Cloete
Photo:  Adam Cloete

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