Recipe of Moroccan-style tender chicken with fragrant vegetables. For the tender chicken (so it will literally fall apart) one should use chicken thighs. Fillet of chicken breast will be dryer and a bit tough, but it will be also tasty.
One needs a big frying pan (capacity ~4 l.), wok-pan will also suit this recipe. This is my own recipe based on my knowledge of Moroccan cooking, the only thing I’ve made European-style is that I start with frying chicken. Actually list of ingredients #2 + frying oil (chicken fat) from list #1 is the red chermoula. One can blend it in advance or just put everything to the pan, as I offer in the recipe.
- 1 kg of chicken thighs (or chicken breast fillet)
- 800 g of potatoes
- 150 g of onion
- 400-500 g of bell pepper (choose sweet colors – red, yellow or orange). If it’s winter and the bell pepper costs like a hell, reduce the amount of it twice and add 200 g of potatoes.
- Frying oil (olive oil or any flavorless kind)
- 20 g of fresh minced cilantro
- 1 tbsp of fresh minced parsley (can be replaced with 1 tsp of dry parsley)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp of paprika powder
- 0,25 tsp of chili pepper powder (optional)
- 0,5 tsp of dry thyme leaves
- 0,25 tsp of grounded black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 100 ml of water
- 1,5-2 tsp of salt
- 80 g of green or pink olives
- 50 g of preserved lemon
If you use chicken thighs, the amount of portions = amount of thighs. In my shop 1 kg is for 4-5 thighs (of fat chickens). If you want more portions – take chicken thigh fillet or chicken breast fillet (I remind you that it will be not that tender) – than you’ll be able to cut it in smaller pieces prior to cooking or right before serving. This Moroccan chicken can be garnished with white bread, couscous, pasta or rice.
Moroccans usually put whole olives to their dishes. So you can use any olives (except black ones, they don’t fit this dish that good). I usually use green boneless olives stuffed with bell pepper.
You can omit preserved lemon, if you don’t have it. Just put a bit more olives. Next time you can make Moroccan preserved lemons on your own – it’s very easy, but one has to wait 2-3 months. Also you can use green olives stuffed with lemon pieces.
1. Prepare ingredients: peel potatoes and cut it into big pieces (halves, quarters etc), cut bell peppers in 5 cm long stripes and mince the onion.
2. Fry chicken at the maximum heat using 1-2 tbsp of oil until golden brown. While it is frying you’ll have the time to prepare ingredients from list #2: put all dry ingredients in a glass, measure the water, mince garlic and cut herbs.
3. Reduce the heat to medium, push the chicken aside and add onion (if you use breast fillet – add some oil). Fry the onion until transparent stirring occasionally.
4. Push the onion aside and put crushed garlic on the empty place. Give it 1-2 min. to become slightly fried.
5. Add bell pepper and potatoes to the pan, pour the water and add the rest of ingredients from the list #2. Mix it carefully but thoroughly – every piece should have been dipped in “broth”.
6. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 20 min. at medium-low heat.
7. Take off the lid and stir, so the sauce will spread equally. Check if something starts to burn and flip it over (add additional 50 ml of water, if you see that something goes wrong). Simmer another 15 min. covered.
8. Add olives and sliced/diced salted lemon and cook another 5 min. covered.
9. Stir and switch off the stove.