Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Moroccan-Style Chicken and Rice

With African and Mediterranean influences, Moroccan cuisine features some of the most aromatic and deeply flavored dishes in the world—thanks to luscious combinations of spices and herbs. Paprika, cumin, cinnamon, saffron, turmeric, and coriander are all common in Moroccan dishes, as well as fragrant ginger, garlic, lemon, cilantro, parsley, and mint. Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, and apricots also make frequent appearances, and rice is often the base for stews or braised meat and poultry.

In short, this is a wonderfully rich and inviting cuisine. The recipe here uses many common Moroccan ingredients in a very simple preparation. Note: Don’t skip the dry-rub marinade for the chicken. The scent and flavors of the spices need time to penetrate the meat—and that first bite will make it very worth it.

Serves 4

  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads (or ground turmeric)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, cut vertically into thin slices (about 2/3 cup)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup black raisins
  • 2 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 3 cups cooked basmati rice, for serving
Aromatic Ingredients
Prepared Ingredients
  1. Combine the paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric in a large bowl. Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and toss with the spice mixture to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight). Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
Chicken in Marinade 
Marinated Chicken
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown and soften, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Season the marinated chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook, breaking chicken pieces in half, until the chicken is lightly browned on both sides and almost cooked through, 4-5 minutes. (Cover the pan a few minutes to help retain moisture, if needed.)
  3. Add the chicken broth, apricots, raisins, and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and mint. 
Onion Beginning to Cook
Cooked Onion
Chicken Mixture Added 
Cooked Chicken Mixture
Broth Mixture Added 
Herbs Stirred In
To serve, divide the rice among 4 shallow bowls and spoon the chicken mixture on top. Serve right away.

Moroccan-Style Chicken and Rice

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