I really like chicken, but man it can get boring, especially if you fall into a rut where you are making the same thing over and over again. Never fear! This recipe will pull you out of your chicken rut. Close your eyes, take a bite, and take a little trip across the world while your taste buds do a little happy dance.
Don’t be alarmed by the long list of ingredients. Most are spices that you probably already have in your cabinet (and if you don’t, you need them!). I am not a big eggplant fan, but I really liked it in this dish, since it soaked up the flavor of that lovely sauce. And the chicken was so tender it completely fell apart and melted in our mouths. If you REALLY hate eggplant, I think this dish would be just as good with mushrooms (and give you a similar chewy texture). Next time I make it (which will be soon!) I know I’m planning to throw a few in there.
I served this over couscous, which I kicked up a notch by mixing it with some dried fruit (a mixture of golden raisins, dried blueberries and cranberries) and some slivered almonds. You could also just use rice or another grain. You don’t have to serve it with a starch, but that sauce is definitely worth soaking up with something!
Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant
(adapted from eatgood4life.com)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cups water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (go ahead and use the stuff in a plastic lemon in a pinch)
12 chicken thighs, fat removed
1 small to medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tbsp marjoram
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds or slivered almonds
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add paprika, salt, turmeric, coriander, fennel, pepper, cumin, and ginger, stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, water, and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
Arrange all chicken in a single layer in the pot and spoon some sauce over. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir eggplant and marjoram into chicken. Carefully stir and cook uncovered 10 more minutes over medium to high heat until chicken is tender and the eggplant is fully cooked. Season stew to taste with more lemon juice, salt and pepper if you like. Transfer chicken to a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro.