I hate errands. Everyone hates errands. But they are kinda fun when you have someone else to do them with.
I managed to drag sister to the post office and on my errands today. We walked to the shops and I left her outside the post office (they are not usually such exciting places). I found her outside the post office sitting in the sun waiting for me with Leonardo. We spent a good 20 mins sitting on the ground outside the post office soaking up the late-winter sun. So lucky to live in a place with winter-sun.
I also managed to get her to help me choose dinner ideas... She wanted fish... I didn't think Dad would pay for fish so we had to go for something else.
Chicken Maroc? Ok. Deal
Thanks Epicurious app on my iPhone. Epicurious credits the recipe to chef Lafridi from Jnane Tamsna (wherever that is!). I did (of course) have to make a couple of changes. The couscous combination is my own invention.
This is actually really good! Wow. It is also pretty cheap if you have the spices in your cupboard already. Chicken thighs - tender and cheap and the best cut from the chicken.
There were three of us and a lot of leftovers - this would easily make enough for 4.
For the chicken...
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
6 boneless chicken thighs, chicken marylands or a whole chicken cut into joints
1 tbsp buter
1 red onion, sliced into 1cm slices
4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1/2 bunch coriander, chopped (plus 1tbsp extra to serve)
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped (plus 1tbsp extra to serve)
2 tbsp good quality honey
1/2 cup Turkish apricots, cut in half
1/3 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted
In a bowl combine the chicken, the cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper and a good glug of olive oil to moisten. Massage the spices into the chicken. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours or longer if you have the time.
In a large heavy based casserole dish melt the butter and a glug of olive oil. Brown the chicken on all sides (you may need to do this in batches). Return all the chicken to the pan and add the onion. Cook for 5-6 mins or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes longer. Add the coriander, parsley and 1/2 cup water. Put the lid on top and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
In the meantime, place the apricots, 1 cup of water and the honey in a small saucepan. Simmer gently until the liquid is syrupy, about 10-15 minutes.
When the chicken is cooked, add the apricot and honey mix and the blanched almonds. Scatter with reserved herbs and serve with couscous and some greens (we had broccoli, but a salad or other greens would work well too).
For the Couscous...
1 cup couscous
1 tsp stock powder
1 knob of butter
2 orange sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1.5cm dice
1 white sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1.5cm dice
1/2 head of garlic, divided into cloves, but left unpeeled
Moroccan seasoning (I used masterfood seasoning)
1/2 bunch coriander, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chopped apricots
1/4 cup chopped sultanas
1/3 cup blanched roasted almonds, chopped
In a heatproof bowl combine the couscous, stock powder, butter and 1.5 cups boiling water. Cover with glad wrap and set aside.
Place the sweet potato and garlic on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with the spice powder, pepper and olive oil. Roast in a 200C oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and soft.
Fluff the couscous with a fork. Mix together the couscous and all remaining ingredients. Season well with pepper and salt. Serve with the chicken.
To roast almonds...
Place almonds in a small pan over a low flame. Cook until lightly golden - do not burn!