Moroccan-Style Curried Chicken

Between work, school, church, and trying to have something of a social life, we really need to focus on quick-to-make dinners. Based loosely off a rice pilaf inna box that Seeds of Change (used to?) make, I thought maybe I’d make a Moroccan-style curry this week. Moroccan-style curries are, in my (admittedly limited) experience sweet and intense with just a bit of heat to them.

No base recipe for this one, I just sort of made it up as I went along… the complete lack of speech whilst everyone here was stuffing their faces told me maybe I should post it.

The recipe:

Rice pilaf:
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 T. oil
1-2 T. curry powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. dried apples, coarsely chopped
2.5 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. brown rice
1/2 c. lentils
1/8 – 1/4 c. slivered almonds, toasted if you like

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over a medium-low flame, then add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft and fragrant. Add curry powder, cinnamon, dried fruit and rice, stir well. Add lentils and stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Stir in almonds.

Chicken:
1/4 c. butter
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 2 T. curry powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. dried apples, coarsely chopped
1 c. chicken stock
4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/8-1/4 t. ground red pepper

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft and fragrant. Add curry and cinnamon, stir well. Add dried fruits and chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides. Add stock, stir well. Sprinkle with red pepper. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, turning chicken occasionally. Remove lid, increase heat to medium and reduce sauce, turning chicken often.

I served the chicken alongside the pilaf, sprinkled both liberally with slivered almonds, then added a bit of plain broccoli on the side.

I know the measurements are a bit vague, but really, adjust to taste. The Reverend likes a very intense curry flavour, so I used about 2T in the rice and almost as much again in the chicken.

Notes for next time: I’m debating whether or not some fresh ginger would go well in this, to be cooked with the onion and garlic, but the Reverend and I completely agree that a nice splash of lemon juice would brighten it up quite beautifully. I’d originally been thinking maybe a splash of white wine or sherry, but the Reverend (rightly) says that curries do tend to fall apart under the addition of alcohol. The sauce from the chicken is exceptionally rich (as you might imagine of a butter / stock reduction). It did take a while to reduce to the degree I wanted… if you’re wanting to hurry, you can always thicken it with a bit of corn flour (or starch as it’s called this side of the big water), though the long cooking time did make for chicken that was so tender it could be cut with just the edge of a fork.

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