My Foray into Chicken: Moroccan Style

As a life-long vegetarian, cooking meat is not my specialty.  Only in recent years have I broken from the total-veg diet to include some fish and the occasional piece of skinless, boneless chicken breast.  I've also begun collecting a handful of reliable recipes I can make when I need to offer such a dish to company, most of which seem to involve grilling.

But in February grilling is generally out of the question because of the cold and rain, so I have a harder time coming up with a non-veg preparation.  This weekend, prompted by a friend's birthday party where the potluck theme was meat, I tried a new stove-top recipe -- Moroccan-style chicken -- and it turned out really well.

I had the butcher cut a whole chicken into pieces for me.  Even so, I must admit that taking the skin off the chicken myself was a bit unpleasant, and running into the heart was a nasty surprise.  But grisly preparation aside, I think it's a keeper.

Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 Meyer lemon, sliced into eight wedges
1 regular lemon, juiced
1 Tb. olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
1 Tb. Spanish paprika
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 cups broth (use chicken or no-chicken vegetarian broth)
1-4 1/2 lb. chicken, cut into eight pieces (bone in), skin removed
1/2 cup pitted green olives
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet or braising pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion, some salt and pepper, and saute until golden brown (about 5-8 minutes).  Stir the next five ingredients (garlic through ginger) into the onions, mixing thoroughly.  Add the broth, deglaze the pan, and bring to a low simmer.  Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then add them to the pan, nestling them into the simmering liquid.  Add the lemon wedges.  Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through -- about 25-30 minutes.  Turn the chicken at least once or twice during the simmer.

Remove the chicken to a serving dish (something with low sides to contain the sauce).  Add the lemon juice and olives to the liquid, increase the heat to high, and boil uncovered to thicken -- about 3 minutes.  Adjust salt and pepper.  Pour over the chicken and serve.

Serve with mashed potatoes or couscous on the side.


jill pratt said…
yum...preserved lemon is good with this dish too...btw i like this banner photo best...

seriously...meat was the potluck theme?
It was a party for MZ's birthday and the theme was in honor of his role as chief meat officer of meat club. I like the idea of preserved lemons -- where do you find them?

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