Moroccan Chicken is a variation on Basic Chicken Casserole. Add chickpeas, rice, some peppers and spices, for an exotic one-pot meal.
I do so love making this recipe using the Basic Chicken Casserole as my starting point. It makes producing a meal like this much easier, and something that I can bear to do at the end of a busy day. Partly just knowing what I need to do makes it much more straightforward, but I also know that this is a better meal than I could have prepared from scratch in less than half-an-hour. I used to make Moroccan Chicken with dried chickpeas and raw chicken, but only at the weekend. Then I figured I could just update the basic chicken recipe and here we are with a slightly spicy meal that's warming for the winter months, but still good in the summer as it isn't too stodgy.
I'm fond of spicy, but not hot, food, and I love chickpeas. Thank goodness they come in cans these days. I have to say I used to be a bit sniffy about canned beans and lentils, but as long as you rinse them well, I think they can be a life-saver. I mostly use them in addition to meat to make a meal go further for unexpected guests or just hungry children.
But I can eat chickpeas with very little else. Madhur Jaffrey has a fabulous recipe for Spiced Chickpeas in her Indian Cookery book (now sadly out of print), which I keep thinking of simplifying a bit. If I have loads of time (and the inclination) I will sometimes cook an Indian meal from her lovely book, although I'm always looking for ways to reduce the time and effort. Life's too short for elaborate stuff in the kitchen, but it's not too short for good food. The trick, for me, is finding the balance. I like to think that Moroccan Chicken is one of those tricks.
If you like this...
...try more variations on the Basic Chicken Casserole:
- 1 pepper - any colour
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon
- 8 green olives
- 1 can chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons oil (10ml)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (5ml)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (5ml)
- 1 portion of Basic Chicken Casserole
- ½ teaspoon salt (2.5ml)
- 300 ml stock
- 175 g brown rice
- Set the oven to 190°C/ 170°C fan/ gas mark 5/ 375°F
- Wash the pepper. Chop in half and remove the pith and seeds and finely slice.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic crusher)
- Wash and finely slice the lemons
- Slice the pitted olives length-wise into ⅛s
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas
- Heat the stock
For the Moroccan Chicken:
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat
- Cook the peppers for 5 minutes
- Add the spices, garlic and lemons and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring
- Add the chicken, chickpeas, salt, olives and half the stock to the pan and stir thoroughly. Bring to the boil
- Put the rice and the rest of the stock in the casserole dish and stir
- Spoon or pour the chicken mixture from the frying pan into the casserole dish, on top of the rice
- The rice will be covered with stock and chicken, so will cook throughout
- Cover the casserole with a lid, or foil, and cook in the oven for 1 hour