As promised, here is part 2…. The FOOD part!
It was delicious!! Becky made Moroccan Chicken, Couscous, Cumin Potatoes, Glazed Carrots and homemade Chocolate Gelato for dessert. YUM!!
What can I say? It was GOOD!!!!
Now here’s the recipe for the Moroccan Chicken:
Becky’s Moroccan Chicken
"This is my own version of this dish, and all measurements are approximate."
* 6 whole chicken legs/thighs, bone in, skin or no skin (leaving the skin on does give the sauce a richer flavor)
* 1/2 Tablespoon ras el hanout* (see note below)
* 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 – 2 finely minced garlic cloves
* 2 – 3 Tablespoons olive oil
* Juice of 1/2 lemon
* Salt and pepper
* 2 – 3 onions, sliced in half and cut into thick slices
* Handfull of dried apricots (sometimes I cut them in half)
* 1 preserved lemon** (see below)
* Handful of fried almonds*** (see below)
* 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
* Ras el hanout
I get my ras el hanout from friends in Morocco. It’s kind of a curry, not in taste, but in the fact that every ‘shopkeeper’ has their own version. It is also available from Cost Plus World Market, and it’s not bad. I did, however, find this recipe if you want to make your own version:
1 teaspoon each ground cumin, ground ginger and salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each ground coriander seed, cayenne and allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
** Preserved Lemons (quick method)
I’ve never tried the store bought variety (if you can find them), and I’ve made them both the old fashion way (which can take weeks) and the quick version, which is just as good, I think. I keep them in a plastic container in the fridge and they last forever.
Thinly slice as many lemons (any variety, but I prefer thin skinned ones such as Meyers) as you want (be sure to wash thoroughly first) and place in a shallow container. Sprinkle generously with salt (table, sea or kosher) on both sides and let sit for at least an hour. The longer they sit, the better they are. To use, rinse gently under running water to remove the pulp. Chop rinds into 1/2 inch pieces. Rinse only as many as you’re going to use and save the rest in their juices/salt in the fridge until the next use.
*** Fried Almonds
You can use toasted sliced, whole or slivered almonds but I prefer raw whole almonds from Trader Joe’s. Blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water. Rinse and remove the skins. Fry lightly in a little vegetable oil and cool.
Assembly and cooking:
Combine spices w/ garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to make a thin paste and rub over chicken pieces. Marinate several hours or overnight.
Brown chicken in olive oil in a large dutch oven, remove. In the same pot, toss in onions and lay chicken pieces over. Add water or white wine to cover onions. Cover and cook about 1 hour on low.
To serve, place chicken pieces in a large shallow bowl and spoon juices and onions over all. Sprinkle with apricots, preserved lemon, almonds and olives. Serve with crusty bread to dip in the juices.
You can find recipes for couscous, glazed carrots, cumin potatoes and gelato at www.epicurious.com.
This should serve four people easily and I hope you will give this recipe a try.
I had a GREAT birthday!!!