So one time a few years back, I was thinking about what to make for dinner. I had taken out chicken thighs and wanted to make something different with them. I started to go through what I had and thought maybe I would just do some Chicken Cacciatore since I had all the stuff for it but then though, what if I did something with more of a middle eastern or African flavour? What if instead of pasta I did couscous? What, you don't dream about food, too? Oh, right. Moving on.
I came up with this recipe from a tagine dish I had been wanting to make. I omitted the dried fruit from my favourite Moroccan dish and did savoury instead. It came out better than I expected and I have been playing with it for years. I know you are going to look at the recipe and say Cinnamon? With Chicken? Just trust me on this one. You want it.
Now I use quinoa instead of couscous - better for you and I always have it in the house. Who are we kidding, if you can't buy it at Costco, there is a good chance I don't have it! It is something that I love making and eating - and I never feel too bad overindulging or gobbling up the leftovers, which I may or may not have just done.
recipe by Domestic Diva
6-8 chicken thighs
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced (small to med)
1/3 c each chopped bell pepper, red and green
1/3 c diced zucchini, center seeds removed
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 c drained and rinsed chick peas
1 c diced tomatoes with juice
1/3 c chicken broth, or more as needed
1.5 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp coriander
1-2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in large deep skillet. If you have an amazing mom who buys you cool things like an enamel cast iron skillet, use it. You will be in heaven. If not, feel sorry for yourself but continue with a regular deep skillet. Cook chicken thighs until well-browned on both sides but not necessarily cooked through, 4-5 minutes each. Remove chicken, turn down heat to medium and add onion and more oil if needed. Soften onion and add zucchini and peppers. Cook 1-2 minutes and add garlic. Stir in spices and mix 30 seconds. Pour in tomatoes and chicken broth, stirring well to lift any bits off the bottom. Bottom bits = yummy food love. Add sugar, salt and pepper and chick peas. If you are not into chick peas, or Garbanzo beans if you want to be all fancy, leave them out but they are yummy and healthy and fun to watch your two year old inhale at lightening speed.
Meanwhile, pull apart chicken with two forks but not into shreds, just into rough bite size pieces. Add back to sauce and allow to simmer/thicken/reduce for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. During this time you should cook your quinoa or couscous, whatever you are using, and any veggies you want to serve it with (we ate asparagus this time but often have green beans or whatever we have on hand). I cook my quinoa using mostly chicken broth with a little water for the liquid. It gives it much more flavour than just plain water but do whatever floats your boat.
Once the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is to the consistancy you want, taste it and add more seasonings if it needs it (I often toss in a bit more cinnamon or whatever it lacks). Serve a big heap over the couscous or quinoa. Enjoy!
Go forth and cook, my pretties ....