Moroccan chicken tajine (stew) w/lime rice

A bowl of rich Moroccan chicken stew with lime rice.This recipe came out of a desire to cook something “different”, yet comforting and was a total, pleasant surprise. It was based on a recipe from Antony Worrall Thompson recipes (LifeStyle FOOD). I substituted what I had on hand. Next time, I would see about adding some root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes (omitting the rice) and/or some chickpeas (if I like them?) for some more substance. I’m not complaining! This was a really yummy dish. But I’d love to continue to play with it to see how I can make it better.

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed (or 2 Tbsp ground garlic)
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp saffron strands, soaked in a little warm water
  • 1/2 – 1 C chicken broth or stock
  • 1 large can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (or dried)
  • salt to taste

For the rice:

  • 1 C uncooked brown rice
  • 1 chicken stock cube / Knorr’s Homestyle Stock (reduced salt)
  • water, salt & butter, as called for in directions for rice
  • 1/2 C frozen green peas
  • 1/2 C finely chopped green onions
  • the juice of half a lime (the whole lime if you’d prefer a stronger citrus flavour)

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 300F.
  2. Mix ginger to cinnamon in a bowl. Split into two equal parts and set one part aside for later.
  3. In a large bowl, coat the chicken in the other half of the spices and toss/mix until coated with this mix evenly.
  4. Heat half of the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, adding the chicken to brown on all sides (do in batches if you need to, but watch for smoking — add a little butter if you need to.) Remove chicken from pot and set aside.
  5. Pour in the rest of the oil, then cook the onion and other half of the seasoning for about 6-8 minutes, stirring to prevent things from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions are soft/translucent but not carmelized (about 2-3 minutes).
  7. Add the chicken back into the pot, as well as the raisins, honey, saffron strands/water, chicken stock, dried parsley (if using it) & tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then transfer to the oven, uncovered and bake for 1 hour — test the chicken’s internal temperature (it should be 165F to be “done”).
  8. About 30-40 minutes before the chicken should come out of the oven, get the rice going, following the instructions on the packaging, but also adding to the water the chicken stock cube and frozen peas.  Fold in the green onions and lime juice at the end of the cooking time, just before serving.
  9. The sauce in the chicken dish should be thickened when it comes out of the oven. If it’s not, you can put the pot back on the stove, bring it to a steady boil on a medium heat and add a small flour slurry, stirring continuously until it thickens to your preference. Don’t make it too thick, though.
  10. If using fresh parsley, add it now. Give a quick taste and adjust salt/pepper/seasonings as needed/preferred.
  11. Serve over a large spoonful of rice.
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