Sunday, August 29, 2010

Prime Time Preseason Menu

As tonight's a prime time game, I'm not making game food, so much as dinner. Tonight is Moroccan Chicken Stew with Couscous. I originally stole, then slightly adapted the recipe from this blog. This quickly became a house favorite. It's been a while since I made it, so I'm reviving it for tonight's dress rehearsal versus the Denver Broncos.

My slightly modified version is below:

Moroccan Inspired Chicken Stew

-- 8-10 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless version -- although today, I got bone in thighs and just skinned them myself. It was fairly gruesome and I would not recommend this for the faint of heart. In short, if you cannot watch "Bizarre Foods," then this probably is not a task you want to undertake.)
-- several tbsp cup extra-virgin olive oil
-- 2 onions, diced
-- 4 carrots, peeled and coarsely diced
-- 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
-- 1/2 tbsp ground turmeric
-- 2 tsp ground cumin
-- 1 tsp ground coriander
-- heavy pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
-- 1 cinnamon stick
-- 2 bay leaves
-- 2 c. chicken broth
-- Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
-- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-- 2 c. big, pitted green olives

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken all over and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate. It might be easiest to work in batches, depending on the size of your cookware.

Reduce medium heat, add the onions and garlic and carrots & pinch of salt. Cook until the veggies are softened and brown, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves and cook until fragrant, just about 1 or 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, and the lemon juice. Return the chicken to the pot, add the chickpeas and olives. Increase the heat to medium high and simmer covered for about 30 minutes. It's nice and moist, so you can't really overcook the chicken. I let it cook for about an hour and it was moist and delicious as can be.

I serve it over whole wheat couscous. I am generally not a fan of things whole wheat, nor am I a big couscous head, but in this instance, I think the whole wheat couscous works exceptionally well.