Moroccan Chicken with Prunes and Couscous
“Sweet, savory, and succulent,” are the words author Lora Brody uses to describe this dish. Perfect for a Party, this makes 4 to 6 servings in a 4 quart Slow Cooker but can easily be doubled in a larger Cooker.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 1/2 to 5 hours
For the Chicken:
2 ½ to 3 pounds chicken parts, skinned
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup (7 ounces) pitted prunes
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Couscous and garnish:
1 ½ cups (10 ounces) uncooked couscous
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped toasted slivered almonds (see note)
1. Rinse the chicken pieces well and pat dry. Brown them in the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes per side; you may have to brown the chicken in two batches.
2. Transfer chicken to the insert of the slow cooker and tuck the prunes among the chicken pieces.
3. Add the onions and cumin seeds to the skillet and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and the seeds are fragrant.
4. Pour in the broth and add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir well, and pour it over the chicken and prunes.
5. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 ½ hours, or until the chicken is very tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken pieces, prunes, and onions to a serving platter; mound them in the center of the platter and keep warm by loosely covering the dish with aluminum foil.
6. Measure 2 cups of the cooking liquid into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the couscous, stir, cover, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, and then fluff the couscous with a fork.
7. Arrange the couscous around the chicken on the platter, and sprinkle the chicken with the ginger, cilantro, and almonds. Pour over any leftover cooking juices.
Cook’s Notes: To toast almonds, place them on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in a preheated 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are light golden brown and fragrant.
I made this for my mother and aunt for Mother’s Day, and it turned out pretty well. I am a big fan of chicken thighs – boneless, skinless – because they are so cheap.
I only recently acquired the slow cooker, and am endeavoring to find unusual recipes – not the old fashioned ones that the Fix it and Forget it Cookbook. I have purchased Lora Brody’s Slow Cooker Cooking, and some others. So far, I have tried some of her recipes, including Caramelized Onions, and the Thai Braised Chicken.