Monday, August 10, 2009

Moroccan Inspired Sweet and Savory Chicken

Make Couscous according to box directions or for a healthier alternative make quinoa:

1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 c water

Bring water to boil. Add quinoa. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Dump on serving platter.

1 t ground coriander
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t tumeric
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t ground cumi
14/ t ground cardamom

3 T olive oil
2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

3/4 c chopped red onion, or sweet vidalia onion
3 cloves garlic minced

1 cup green pitted olives (no pimentoes or other stuffing)
1 preserved lemon chopped fine*
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c apricot preserves
1/2 of a 14-1/2 oz can chicken broth

Measure all spices into a bowl to have them ready. Heat olive oil to coat bottom of a large skillet over medium high. Add onions and garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, and then dump spices over top evenly.  Let chicken cook about 3-4 minutes on first side, then turn and cook about 2-3 minutes on other side till done. Dump in olives, preserved lemons, broth, preserves, and raisins. Let simmer for about 5-10 more minutes till flavors are mixed. Dump over couscous or quinoa.  Better even the second day after the flavors mesh more.  It is salty, savory, and somewhat sweet.

* You can get preserved lemons at specialty food stores or make your own by scoring a lemon till you see the inside but not cutting all the way t hrough and stuffing it with salt. Do this to several lemons and pack with salt in a mason jar. Squish down real well and add more juice to cover if  needed.  Let sit a month. If you do not have or want to use preserved lemon, substitute one lemon's juice, 1 t salt, and the zest of that lemon in the recipe.

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