Saturday, January 31, 2009

One-Pot Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

I know this recipe somewhat resembles the Braised Paprika Chicken Big Daddy just posted. It also sort of resembles the Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Rice that All-Knowing Jen requested help with and it's rather similar to the Quick and Easy Moroccan Chicken that Syl posted.

Hey, that just means that a lot of you will like it, right? :) I made it earlier this week on Mr. Kluges's request and mentioned I should probably post it. He was all, "You haven't posted this one to Recipeeps yet?!?!" So here it is. It's from The Really, Truly, Honest-to-Goodness One-Pot Cookbook by Jesse Ziff Cool.

***Note: This is NOT a quick and easy recipe. Well, easy = yes; quick = no. Start it 2 hours before you want it. Really. Then you won't feel rushed. ***

1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 Tbl. sweet paprika
2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
One 3- to 3 1/2- lb chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
2 to 3 Tbl. olive oil
1 yam or sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (We like yams a lot, so we do 2 reg or 1 BIG.)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 Tbl. ground cumin
1 Tbl. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
generous pinch of saffron threads [not necessary - it turns a lovely orangey color from the previous spices already]
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. chopped dried apricots
3 c. chicken broth
1 c. couscous
1/4 c. minced fresh mint [I always forget this and it's fine without.]

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, paprika, the 2 tsp. salt, and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the chicken [I remove the skin from the thighs & breasts, but don't bother with the wings/legs.] and toss well to generously season on all sides.

2. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the chicken in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

3. [Stir the ground spices into the broth so you don't end up with clumps of 'em.] Add the yam, onion, bay leaf, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, saffrom, raisins, dried apricots, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until chicken is tender and the potatoes are very soft. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

4. Uncover, [remove chicken so the couscous doesn't get all stuck up inside the parts and stay dry and weird], add the couscous and mint, and stir. Reduce the heat to low. Cover again and simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and, using tongs or a big fork, fluff everything in the pot. [Return chicken to the pot.] Put the lid back on and let sit for another 3 minutes.

5. To serve, scoop the couscous and chicken into a large serving bowl or warmed individual bowls. Serve with forks and big spoons for the couscous.

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