25 August 2009

I got this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. I've made it twice now and have changed it up a bit. Here's my amended recipe.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (½ cup)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
½ cup pitted dried plums (prunes)
12 oz. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 thin chicken breasts (2 large), cut into large chunks
2½ tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup couscous
1 cup water or reduced-sodium chicken broth

In a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker combine onion, carrots, plums, squash, broth, chicken, and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

When ready to serve, bring water or broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add couscous, remove from heat, and cover with lid. After five minutes, remove lid and fluff couscous with a fork.

Remove chicken, fruit, and vegetables from slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Serve over couscous. Spoon some of the cooking juices on each serving.

Makes 4 servings.

It came with nutritional info, but I have changed it so much that it wouldn't be even close to accurate.

The original recipe called for 8 bone-in chicken thighs instead of the breasts. I don't usually have thighs on hand and Jim prefers breast anyway, so I thought I would try it with the breasts. Works just fine. The way I make it, it's more of a stew. I think the original is supposed to be a large piece of chicken with some vegetables on the side. But I like it better this way. It's easier to serve.

Also, the addition of butternut squash is mine. Butternut squash is traditional in Moroccan stews (see my Lamb Tagine recipe). Meijer sells butternut squash, already peeled and cubed, in handy little 12 oz. bags. It's in the produce section next to pre-washed spinach and broccoli florets and stuff like that. So handy! I like butternut squash, but I am such a wimp that I physically cannot peel or cut the darn things because they are so hard. They are the biggest pain in the butt to prepare. So I am willing to pay a little bit extra and take the help from the store on this one. The squash is really good in this dish. It doesn't get all mushy like it did in the tagine that I made. It stays in chunks.

The other thing I changed was that I doubled the spices from the original recipe. It was suggested by a reviewer on the BHG site and we really like Moroccan spices so I tried it that way. Perfect. I think it would be pretty bland left at the original amounts.

The original recipe didn't say to serve it over couscous, but it was kind of a no-brainer for me. Couscous is also very traditional in Moroccan cooking and it makes the perfect bed for the flavorful stew.

If you are home while making this, keep an eye on it. Since I use breasts instead of thighs, it probably doesn't need as much time as stated. I keep forgetting to write down how much time I leave mine in. A lot of it depends on how firm you like the carrots. I like mine with a little bite left to them.

Going into the slow cooker. So colorful and pretty!

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