What do you like to eat when you are stressed or sick? For me, it is this stew. Every time I make it, it brings a smile to my face. I call it “vacation in a bowl” and make it more often than any other dish. The colors are bright, the acidity from the lemon and the tomatoes makes it dance in your mouth, the spices are fragrant and comforting, and the cool freshness of the cilantro rounds out the flavor. It reheats beautifully. Like many stews, it really tastes better the next day.
Moroccan Chicken Stew
2 lb bone-in chicken (I like the white meat so I usually use breasts.)
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 small cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, black pepper, turmeric, crushed red pepper, and cayenne pepper (more to taste- we like it spicy so I also add a jalapeno or Tabasco.)
1/2 lemon, quartered lengthwise then cross-cut into very thin, pie-shaped wedges
2- 15 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced into ½ inch thick slices
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped. (optional)
1/4 cup of raisins
salt to taste
Cook garlic and olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add spices and cook 1-2 minutes until spices are fragrant. Add chicken and sautee for an additional 4 minutes until chicken is lightly browned (but does not have to be cooked through). Add lemon, tomatoes, raisins, and chickpeas and reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and place in a separate bowl in freezer until chilled enough to handle. Add zucchini and simmer until vegetables are tender. Shred chicken and stir back into stew along with cilantro.
Serve by itself or over couscous.