Morocco is located in the north-western corner of Africa and is bursting with incredible sites, fascinating culture and, of course, delicious food! Berbers were the first inhabitants of Morocco over two thousand years ago, and when creating food, used mostly local ingredients. These included fruits and vegetables such as olives, figs and dates and were included in lamb and poultry stews. But over time, new flavours and cooking methods were introduced by other people such as the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans. However, perhaps the most influential were the Arabs who introduced Moroccans to spices such as cinnamon, ginger, saffron, cumin, and caraway. Furthermore, they also introduced Morocco to sweet and sour cooking, something they had learnt from the Persians, which leads us onto this recipe.
Would you like to try something different, flavoursome and super easy to make? Moroccan chicken skillet is the perfect dish for adding some variety to your meals and showcases the Arab-inspired sweet and sour cooking. There are quite a few ingredients required for this recipe, but we highly recommend you try it because it is authentic, delicious and only takes 30 minutes to make.
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Cast Iron Skillet Lid
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper – freshly ground
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken thighs – boneless
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. seeded and minced jalapeno
- 2 tsp. Moroccan spice
- 1 cup chicken broth – low sodium
- 1/2 cup halved dried dates
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (Turkish variety if you can find them)
- 14 ounce canned chickpeas – drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. sliced almonds
- Couscous for serving (optional)
Prepping the Chicken:
First, you want to create the seasoning for the chicken. Mix together the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl until the mixture is all one shade. Once the ingredients are mixed together, you want to pat the chicken thighs dry and then smother them in the seasoning. The best way to do this is to pour the seasoning onto a plate and then roll the chicken thighs around, ensuring both sides are well covered for maximum flavour.
Cooking the Chicken:
Prepare the large skillet by heating oil over a medium to high heat. Once it is ready and hot, place the seasoned chicken thighs in the skillet and cook for around three to four minutes each side. Once browned, remove the chicken thighs and set aside.
Cooking the Remaining Ingredients:
Using the same skillet that you used for the chicken thighs, add the sliced onion and cook for around five to seven minutes. Once brown and soft, stir in the Moroccan spice mixture, garlic and jalapeno. Cook the mixture for 30 seconds and then add the broth, dates and apricots.
Bringing It All Together:
Add the chicken thighs to the pan of onions, Moroccan spice, garlic, jalapeno and broth mixture. Cover the skillet using the cast iron lid, turn down the heat to low and simmer for around 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Once the chicken is cooked, stir in the chickpeas and vinegar, and for taste, add some salt, if required.
Preparing the Side Dish:
The best way to enjoy the Moroccan chicken skillet is to accompany it with some couscous. Couscous isn’t cooked, it is more so rehydrated, and this can take anywhere between five to 15 minutes, depending on what type you buy. If you wish to add this to your meal, we suggest you start this process when you begin to simmer the chicken in the broth for 10 minutes, that way, everything should be ready to serve around the same time. Usually, to prepare couscous, all you need to do is add either boiling water or broth to the grains and stir. Then, cover the mixture with cling film and leave for roughly 10 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. To achieve the perfect texture, be sure to fluff the couscous with a fork to break up the grains.
We hope that we have inspired you to try and cook this authentic Moroccan dish. Maybe, so much so that you might want to consider visiting the country! What better way to get a flavour for Morocco than visiting the country and immersing yourself in the atmosphere and culture? If you do decide to visit Morocco, we highly recommend booking the desert experience for an exciting insight into the history, tradition and incredible landscape.
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