Moroccan Chicken Stew with Apricots

Recipe from ALWAYS DELICIOUS by David Ludwig, MD, PhD, and Dawn Ludwig

Rich warm spices and sweet dried fruit make this Moroccan stew an instant favorite. Once you’ve prepped the ingredients, it’s only a matter of letting it cook. A slow cooker makes for even easier prep. Leave in the morning and come home to the sweet and savory aromas of dinner ready to eat.

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus overnight marinating

Total time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

Moroccan Chicken Stew

  • 1 Recipe Moroccan Sauce (see below)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1‑inch cubes or slices
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small sweet potato or 1/2 small winter squash (kabocha, butternut, buttercup, etc.; peeled), cut into 1‑inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 dried apricots, whole or diced, or 4 fresh apricots, quartered and pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Place the sauce in a large zip-top bag, add the chicken, seal the bag, and massage to completely coat the chicken with the sauce. Place it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight (or cook it immediately if you have less time).

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or stovetop-safe slow cooker insert over medium heat, or in a slow cooker on the sauté setting. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the chicken and sauce from the bag, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, water, and salt. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, or transfer the ingredients or the slow-cooker insert to the slow cooker. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours on the stovetop (longer, slow cooking creates a more savory dish) or cook on low in a slow cooker for up to 8 hours or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If desired, remove the lid for the last 15 to 30 minutes to thicken the sauce.

Serve hot over Cauliflower Couscous (Click here for recipe).

Calories: 459

Carbohydrate: 22 g

Protein: 37 g

Fat: 26 g

Moroccan Sauce

Although traditional spice mixes rely on ground ginger and turmeric, the fresh roots add a bright flavor that can’t be matched. The combination of sweet and savory in this sauce makes it a great companion to almost any protein.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Total time: 7 minutes

  • 1 (2‑inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 (3‑ to 4‑inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  • 9 or 10 sprigs cilantro, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a wide-mouthed mason jar or cup that will fit an immersion blender without splashing. Blend, working the blender in the jar until the garlic, ginger, and turmeric are smooth.

Place a lid on the jar. For best results, set aside for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 week

Calories: 45 (Per 1 tablespoon)

Carbohydrate: 1 g

Protein: 0 g

Fat: 5 g

Vegetarian Version

Substitute chicken for 1 1/2 pounds extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed with an absorbent towel, and crumbled, and increase the salt to taste. Or substitute chicken for 1 recipe Basic Seitan (Always Delicious page 72) plus 2 additional tablespoons olive oil.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.