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Monday, December 5, 2011

Moroccan Chicken Smothered in Olives



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Let's face it, braises and stews are the ugly ducklings of the culinary circuit. Fortunately, great flavor masks their appearance and most folks include at least one braise or stew among their favorite dishes. Even the Silver Fox, who on finishing this lovely Moroccan chicken declared it to be, and I quote now, "a glorious mess." Now the Fox may not have made his money in the diplomatic corp, but he knows a good thing when he sees it and that was a rave review. I found the recipe while researching the work of Paula Wolfert. I needed just one recipe to represent her cooking for a feature on 50 Women Game-Changers in Food. I, instead, walked away with over a dozen that needed to be tried. One read of this recipe convinced me that this was something special and I made it for our dinner tonight. Mean weather made it all the more appealing and it is a perfect meal for a damp and chilly evening. This chicken is really easy to make, although the brining of the chicken adds a time factor that must be taken into account. I urge you not to bypass brining the chicken. It really makes a difference in this dish. The chicken stays moist and succulent and that moistness is a perfect foil for the Moroccan spices used in this dish. The chicken can be on the table within 45 minutes and you won't regret a moment of the time you spend making it. Here's the recipe.

Moroccan Chicken Smothered In Olives...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of The New York Times and Paula Wolfert

Ingredients:
1/4 cup salt, for brining (optional)
1/2 cup sugar, for brining (optional)
8 chicken thighs with bone, skin removed and discarded
2 onions, peeled, halved and sliced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon Spanish sweet paprika
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
11-oz. pitted green olives in brine, like Goya's, drained
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:
1) To brine chicken (optional): In a large bowl, combine salt, sugar and 1 cup hot water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add 3 cups cold water and chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Drain, rinse, and drain again before using.
2) In bottom of a large flameproof casserole, arrange onions and top with chicken pieces. Sprinkle with ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika, garlic and cilantro. Pour chicken broth over all.
3) Place over high heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine olives with several cups of water and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, drain well and set aside.
4) Add olives and lemon juice to chicken, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. If desired, simmer for additional time to reduce and thicken sauce. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.








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52 comments :

Red Nomad OZ said...

Ah, c'mon! It doesn't look THAT bad!!! In fact it looks just delicious - the only flaw in the recipe being no instruction on how to get someone to make it for me!!

Amalia said...

This looks delicious, definitely not a mess! I need to try the brining method. I never have, but it makes sense that it would make a huge difference in how moist and succulent the meat is. This sounds like a great recipe, it looks wonderful and from your description it tastes even better! Have a lovely day :)

lena said...

you're right...stewing and braising makes one of the most tastiest food around. i'm sure everyone in your family must have enjoyed eating this very much!

mia xara said...

Very nice way to serve chicken! You're right Mary, it's worth brining the chicken,I'd love to try it a.s.a.p. Have a great week!

Floreal said...

Another amazin recipe. I,ve Taking the liberty of coping one of your recipes and it has been a succesful! Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. Have a nice day!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

I'd never thought of brining either. Sounds like a winning idea!

Debs @ DKC said...

Sounds and looks delicious to me. However, if you really felt the need to improve the look upon presentation, it would look amazing if served in a tagine with decoratively displayed lemon slices on top!

Coleen said...

I disagree with your photo critique. We all know that some of the BEST recipes are hard to photograph. All one has to do is look at the recipe. This sounds delicious.

Priya said...

Super flavourful platter,absolutely inviting.

Lenia said...

It looks fantastic!Have a great week,dear!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

The operative word here is "glorious"! I love the way ever bit of that sounds... right up to adding the olives! LOL! I think it would be delicious to me sans olives. ;) blessings and good cheer to you and yours this morning, Mary! tanna

Big Dude said...

I've always been a big fan of glorious messes and this sounds terrific. Cold weather is coming so we'll try it soon.

Pegasuslegend said...

what a flavorful pretty dish!

Jenn said...

Moroccan chicken is a favorite of mine. I used to make a dish quite similar to this.. don't know why it's been so long - I will make this very soon!

Kim said...

Oh, this chicken looks so delicious. I'd like to have it tonight for diner!

The Blonde Duck said...

This sounds fabulous to me!

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Yum, sounds unique and delicious! I find that bringing makes a huge difference also!

Susan Lindquist said...

Ha! I just made a lesser version of this recipe for a blogging challenge that I do with Dom @ Belleau Kitchen ... I am going to make it again using this recipe ... I just know the result will be superior!

It's funny because , as I was making the chicen, I was thinking that it needed more spice and wondering why I was leaving the skins on the thighs ... it made for a really fatty sauce that took away from the finished dish. Agian, your Wolfert recipe is far better!

StephenC said...

I would encourage your readers to get to Whole Foods and see if they can find castelvetrano olives. They are a green olive in a very delicate brine. I'll bet they would bring a lot to this Moroccan party.

From the Kitchen said...

It looks good to me! I am printing this one out to warm us on a winter's day. I'll have to omit the cilantro (hope sprinkling it on when served will work) as The Baker does not like it at all. The rest of us do like it.

Best,
Bonnie

That Girl said...

This looks like the perfect thing to cuddle up with after a cold day.

MomWhatsForDinner said...

Popping by to say hi! Love your blog. I am now following. I do gourmetcookingfortwo and Momwhatsfordinner.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Mmmmmm that sounds very yummy, Diane

Emily Malloy said...

Oh, Mary! This looks divine!!!

Claudia said...

Well, this may be one of the finest messes I've seen in a long time. I do love Moroccan flavors - and made an easy version of a chicken-lemon "stew" last week which was declared a hit - nary a mouthful let. Winter has settled in and this will warm us all.

SmilingSally said...

Oh, Mary, you've done it again . . . now I've hungry!

Sue/the view from great island said...

This sounds (and looks!) so good to me right now. This is a part of Mediterranean cuisine that I don't know enough about, and yet I just love all of its classic flavors. I look forward to trying this, thanks Mary.

Rita said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe; my son gave me a tagine and I am always looking for someting new to try. I found out Moroccan food is really tasty.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Wow, this chicken dish looks amazing and it's unlike anything I've made before. I usually adore braised meats, so I can't wait to try it.

tasteofbeirut said...

Love chicken and lemon and green olives! this recipe appeals to me because it doesn't call for preserved lemons (which are wonderful but not in my pantry) and sounds so delicious!

Eri said...

Oh, what a delicious recipe Mary, I agree that it looks just delicious I cant see any mess..
Have a wonderful day

Nisha said...

I am surely going to try this soon.

spindrift,me said...

OK, Mary. I'm in! Just linked to you via a comment you left for Cheryl at A Coastal Point of View. Where have you been all my life? Just a few peeks at former posts, and imagining today's Moroccan Chicken just might re-awaken my interest in cooking. My husband sure would be grateful..... I sure will be back.

ARLENE said...

Paula Wolfert, a name from my culinary beginnings. This chicken dish uses my favorite part of the bird and sounds simple and delicious. I'm surprised at the brine, given the use of olives, but trust you and Paula not to steer me wrong. I'm going to put this on next week's menu.

teresa said...

this is a really fun recipe. it sounds and looks delicious!

Joanne said...

I find that with all the ladies we cook from, I end up with TONS of recipes bookmarked! This one sounds delicious. I love the brininess of olives in stews.

Lori said...

Stews, etc really are not very photogenic are they? You are so right. I would love to try this glorious mess. Ha. I love it.

laurie said...

Looks good to me!

Elisabeth said...

Love Morroccan recipes...especially chicken. So perfect, and delicious with the amazing spices, that I love!
Thanks for sharing, Mary!
Hugs,

Swathi said...

Delicious spicy chicken, love the olives in there.

Christina said...

Wow, a delicious looking recipe!!

vianney said...

I think it looks delish, great flavors!! thanks for sharing!

JasmyneTea said...

I love Moroccan flavours, this will definitely be on the dinner rotation. Thanks!

Terri @ that's some good cookin' said...

In this particular case the picture is superfluous to the title or the recipe! I barely even looked at the picture once I read the title and the ingredient list. This is a definite 'must do'! Thanks for sharing.

cocinamarroqui said...

This is a great recipe Moroccan. It could well be "chicken tajine with olives." Very good. The spices and olives give this recipe a special touch. I'm glad you liked it. regards

Christine knapkins_com said...

Hey Mary, your Moroccan Dish is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win? http://knapkins.com/guess_games/950?source=blog

Couscous & Consciousness said...

This is totally my kind of dish - I can't wait to try it
Sue :-)

Balvinder ( Neetu) said...

I just have a feeling that I have been to your blog before ,don't if I left a comment. This Moroccan chicken seems delicious.Thanks for visiting my space and keep in touch.

Savorique said...

Both the dish AND the plate look beautiful! The olives are a very nice addition, they give such a Mediterranean flavor...

jimmerjim said...

This is so good. I am having what little was left over now, and it is better the next day. This is a real keeper. Thank you.

tammy said...

do you have to have skinless boneless chicken?
Also, can breasts be used? Thank you.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Tammy,you can use breasts but be careful not to overcook them. The recipe cook times are based on boneless skinless chicken, so unless you are willing to experiment with timing stick with it. Mary

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