How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Moroccan Braised Chicken Thights

A few nights ago, I realized I would have a bit of time to make a nice mid-week dinner; it seems that this year so far our weeknights have not allowed for a lot of leisurely cooking. Pam found a package of frozen chicken thighs in the freezer, so I asked her to start thawing then, while I committed to finding a new recipe that would make good use of them.

Image -- of a somewhat different dish:
Cooking School of Aspen
I went first to Meredith Laurence's Comfortable in the Kitchen, which regular readers will recognize as a gift from my mother that has proven quite a popular source for this blog. I quickly found a recipe featuring our main ingredient -- Moroccan Braised Chicken Thighs.

Preparation of this dish begins by heating some olive oil in a Dutch oven (or other large pan) over medium high-heat. As I heated the oil, I seasoned the chicken thighs with salt (very little) and pepper (a bit more). I then browned the chicken on all sides, and transferred it to a warm zone on the stove top, using our indispensible cooking tongs.

The recipe calls for pouring off excess fat, but there was none, so I added:

1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diagonal slices

I cooked these a few minutes until tender and then added 2 cloves minced garlic and cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and ground coriander. The book has quantities, but I just applied each liberally. I then deglazed the pan with 6 ounces of beer (always a good thing in a recipe -- cook with half a beer and use the other half as a treat for the chef). I simmered the beer with aromatics and spices for 4-5 minutes and then returned the chicken to the pan.

I then added:
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries (not called for in the recipe, but we are in Massachusetts so we always keep some in the kitchen -- NOT Craisins)
16 dried apricots, quartered
28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock

I omitted the 1/2 cup of pitted green olives called for in the recipe, because it is known the world over that PAM HATES OLIVES.

I simmered, covered for a half hour (should have been 45-60 minutes, but we were getting hungry). I then topped this with some fresh parsley and served it with noodles (instead of the called-for rice).

The result was not very photogenic -- hence the photo boosted from a cooking school above -- but it was delicious!

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