Moroccan Braised Chicken


As I get older, my enthusiasm for chilli heat is beginning to reduce and I’m starting to experiment with the pleasures of food that is spiced, but not necessarily ‘hot’.  I find that I’m not going through paprika and Tabasco as quickly, but I’m making more use of ground cumin and coriander more.  I guess you could describe my tastes drifting to more North African spices.

With that in mind I can recommend trying this recipe for Moroccan Braised Chicken.  The ground coriander does the talking in the spice sense to provide some warmth to this hearty dish…

Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 50g dried apricots,
  • 1 tbsp olive oil,
  • 4 chicken breast fillets,
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped,
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed,
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced,
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed,
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes,
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest,
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice,
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander,
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste,
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander.

Method

  1. Soak the apricots in 250ml boiling water.  Leave to stand while you prepare your other vegetables.  After 10 minutes, strain and reserve the soaking liquid.  Chop the apricots.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or flame proof casserole over a medium heat.  Add the chicken breasts and cook until browned all over.  Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender (about 5 minutes).  Add the celery and fry for another few minutes.
  4. Stir in the apricots, the reserved liquid, the chickpeas, the tomatoes and their juice, the lemon zest and juice, ground coriander and pepper to season.
  5. Bring to the boil and return the chicken to the pan.  Reduce the heat and simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Before serving adjust your seasoning if necessary, and add the chopped coriander leaf.  Serve with flat bread, rice or couscous.

 

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