December 2, 2009
So, have you recovered from Thanksgiving yet? We have. Sort of. We’re definitely hungry again, but the idea of planning involved meals makes me want to poke my eyes out. Okay. That was a bit dramatic, but you get the point: this week is all about low maintenance cooking. This recipe may not seem low maintenance at first glance, but it’s surprisingly easy. In fact, it came together on the fly. I had chicken and green olives—the rest just fell into place.
The dish has a French/North African flavor profile that gives it an exotic flair that’s also warm, comforting and mellow (i.e., kid friendly!) at the same time. Nothing more than a bunch of ground spices give this dish its layered flavor—you can’t get simpler than that. And don’t be afraid of the olives if you’re feeding a little one. She just might like them (my ChowBaby does and he was thrilled to chomp on pitted ones with ease). If not, the olives are easy enough to pick out.
Serve over rice, noodles or, even better, couscous. And consider doubling the recipe for leftovers. Like a great stew, this is even better the next day.
Moroccan Chicken with Green Olives and Artichokes
(can be adapted for kids 8+ mos)
1/2 c organic olive oil
1 medium organic onion, halved and cut into slices
1/2 tsp organic ginger, ground or fresh
1 tsp organic cinnamon
1 tsp organic cumin
1 tsp organic ground coriander
1 tsp organic tumeric
2 1/2 lbs organic skinless chicken drumsticks and thighs
3 c organic chicken broth
3 tbsp organic honey, optional (skip or substitute agave syrup for children under 12 mos)
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts
pitted green olives (as many as you like)
1. Heat a 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add onions, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and tumeric. Saute until the onions caramelize. Add a few drops of water if the spices stick to the bottom or start to burn.
2. When the onions are nicely browned, add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Allow the oil to get hot, about a minute, then add the chicken. Brown on all sides.
3. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and honey, if using. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for one hour with the lid on.
4. Take off lid, turn heat to medium high, add artichoke hearts and olives and cook until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. If the sauce isn’t as thick as you like, stir in a little bit of cornstarch (a teaspoon at a time), until sauce takes on desired consistency.