Moroccan Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries – One Pot Wonder

I came across this recipe totally by accident and I had the urge to make it that night! Consider I pretty much had all the ingredients on hand already, I just needed to pick up a butternut squash, which lucky for me, already comes pre-washed, peeled and chopped! This recipe is a one pot wonder (plus a plate or two and a food processor) but it was super easy and extremely flavourful!

Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

I found this step extremely odd, but in the end, well worth getting that food processor dirty! Blend together onion, tomatoes, garlic and ginger into a paste. Watch out when taking off the lid as the onion vapors hit me right in the eyes! 🙂

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We always have chicken on hand. We hit up the meat aisle at Costco about every month. A pack of chicken broken down into 4 packs of 4 lasts us a long time and is pretty easy portioning right out of the freezer! Good thing they have large freezer bags too!

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I always love adding onions to a pan with brown bits at the bottom. Adds flavour!

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Now here’s a tip! Don’t almost forget the 1 tsp of turmeric like I almost did! 😉 It’s mostly for colour but does add a brightness to the dish.

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This is what happens when you add the onion-tomoatoes-garlic-ginger paste to your onions. It’s not pretty but smells wonderful. 

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Adding back in your chicken, stock, squash and brown sugar… I didn’t think the squash was going to cook properly, but I was wrong. They were perfectly tender.

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I would suggest making the garnish as close to serving time as possible as the mint starts to get funky. As well, maybe keep some of the ingredients separate for the next day if you tend to have left overs in order to be able to make it fresh again.

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The recipe calls for dried cherries, which I found at my local health food store. If you can’t find them, prunes, dried apricots, raisins or any other dried stone fruit would work here. They plump up and add a wonderful texture and juice to the meal.

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I was thinking while cutting up the chicken that I could have done this sooner, however I would be afraid that it would dry out and over cook given the time it takes to cook the squash.

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Add a pot of couscous to boil which your chicken is cooking on the back burner and voila! A one-ish post of delicious Moroccan Chicken with squash and dried cherries!

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I served it on a plate, but you can definitely use a bowl as it does have a stew type consistency. 

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Moroccan Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries – One Pot Wonder

Prep time: 10 minutes    Cook time: 1 hour    Cool time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

Chicken:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 sliced

100g tomatoes

100g ginger, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp each ground cumin, coriander and cinnamon

1 container of pre-cut butternut squash

600ml chicken stock

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

100g dried cherries

Garnish:

1 small red onion, finely chopped

zest 1 lemon

handful mint leaves

100g feta cheese, crumbled

couscous and natural yogurt

Directions:

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

In a food processor, add the chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic and turn into a rough paste.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a deep dish fry pan, then brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken to a plate.

Fry the sliced onion in the remaining oil in the dish until softened, then add the spices and fry for 1 min more until fragrant. Add the paste and fry for another few mins to soften.

Return the chicken to the dish with the squash, stock, sugar and red wine vinegar.

Bring to a simmer, then cook for 30 mins until the chicken is cooked through.

Lift the chicken out and stir in the cherries,  continue simmering the sauce to thicken while you shred/cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks. Stir the chicken back into the sauce and season.

For the garnish: Mix the red onion, lemon zest, mint and feta. Scatter over the dish, then serve with some couscous and yogurt.

{Recipe found on BBC Good Food}

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