Thursday, December 16, 2010

Makin' Moroccan

The great thing about Moroccan food is that it smells as good as it tastes while it's cooking. this slow braised meal full of delicious spices like Cinnamon, Turmeric, Cumin and Cayenne had Cordy doing back flips to get my attention. She was about coming out of her skin desperate to get me to let her share in the feast. Today I am glad to be of a superior species with opposable thumbs because, Cordy Girl, You are missing out!

The recipe was inspired by this recipe here on Epicurious, but I adopted a few variations and made it my own.

Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Roasted Shallots and Mixed Dried Fruit

4 chicken thighs
4 chicken legs
1 Tablespoon Peanut Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon Flour
8 Shallots, peeled and left whole
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 orange, juiced
1/4 cup Mediterranean Mixed Dried Fruit (dates, apricots, tart cherries)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat peanut oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and dust with flour. Brown chicken about five minutes on each side until golden brown on all sides. Be careful not to crowed the pan, it's best to do in two batches as ideally you do not want the chicken pieces to touch while browning. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add shallots to the pan, lower to medium heat and saute several minutes until golden brown. Add spices (cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne) and saute stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth and orange juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 18 minutes until shallots are soft. Add the chicken back to the pan, cover and summer another 25 minutes until chicken is done (juices should run clear when stabbed with a fork in the thickest part of the meat.) Remove the chicken and shallots to a serving bowl and tent with foil to keep warm.

Turn the heat back up to medium high and simmer the broth until it thickens slightly. Add the dried fruit and cook another two minutes until well heated. Stir in the Cilantro. Pour over the chicken and serve.

We had this with roasted delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed, and dotted with butter and brown sugar. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes until done.

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