Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Rockin' Chicken with Couscous

I have never been to Morocco and neither have I been to a Moroccan restaurant. I don't have any Moroccan friends..........so yeah, basically I have never eaten Moroccan food. I have however watched a few shows on Travel channel and other foodie channels and have a general idea about Moroccan food. So yesterday I thought hey, why not attempt some Moroccan food? And that is how last evening's menu was set- couscous with my version of Moroccan chicken- My Rockin' Chicken!! Get it?!

The Spice Rub:

Cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric powder, red crushed pepper.

I took the cumin, cinnamon and cloves in a m-wave safe bowl and m-waved it for about 40 seconds to gently roast. Then I added the red crushed pepper and turmeric and powdered it all in my nifty little coffee grinder.

 The Spice Rub

The Chicken:

I bought a little tray of 4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on. Took off the skin and then rubbed that lovely spice rub all over. Gotta make sure you massage the chicken with that spice rub to get all the goodness into the meat. I also added a splash of lemon juice and sprinkled some salt. Gave it one more quick massage and covered and put it away in the refrigerator. As the rule goes, 30 minutes is a good amount of time for marination--- but more the better. I did this in the afternoon so it was way more than 30 minutes........

Chicken with the spice rub sitting in the fridge

And then My Rockin' Chicken:

Soon it was evening and time to cook dinner. My everyday cooking pot was going to be that special clay pot with the conical lid that is used in Moroccan cooking. Hey gotta make-do with what you have!

I took some oil in the pot and heated it and then put in the 4 thighs packed with the spice rub one by one into the hot oil. Allowed that bottom side to get browned up and then flipped the pieces over to brown up the other side. Looked very yummy!
Well browned and browning up the other side too

While the other side was browning up, I roughly chopped up some garlic, onion, carrots and potatoes. I wish I had some kind of squash- that would have been a good addition too.

Special Stuff: And then I threw in a handful of dried apricots and some blanched almonds. Ooooh yeah!

Added a tablespoon of tomato paste (whole tomatoes would work just fine), some extra water and salt. Put the lid on the pot and allowed everything to simmer for 25 minutes. My Rockin' Chicken was on its way to getting ready!

The Couscous:

While the chicken and veggies were simmering away, I prepared the couscous. This took literally less that 5 minutes! Boiled some water. Added some salt and a dash of olive oil and then poured this hot water into the couscous. Covered it up. That's it! All that I needed to do was to fluff it up and serve.

Finally:

Served my version of Moroccan chicken on a bed of couscous and garnished with cilantro. The chicken was perfectly cooked, tender and delicious with that cumin-cinnamon goodness. The apricots added a lovely sweetness to the whole concoction. Not overwhelmingly sweet, mind you! And the huge chunks of veggies were delicious. The almonds added a nice almost-crunchy texture. It was simply outstanding.

My Rockin' Chicken on a bed of Couscous


I know what I am going to cook for my next party! And I bet it'll be much appreciated!

2 comments:

adibud34 said...

Moroccans also liketh Lamb! In fact, I bet they like Lamb more than Chicken! Mmm hmmmmmmmmm!

Dreamer said...

Yeah, but apparently lamb is v expensive there and so they sticketh to chicken and pigeon and veggies........ mmm hmmmmmmmmmm!