Moroccan Chicken Casserole

It is a long established Re-Invent rule that healthy food should never be boring. Aromas, flavour and satisfaction are the key ingredients to being able to stick with a healthy eating plan. When food is satisfying you will often find that cravings magically disappear.

You certainly don't have to be a #masterchef to get this one right. In fact most great recipes are incredibly simple to follow.

For this recipe I used a slow cooker, one of my favourite kitchen gadgets. Searing the chicken pieces first and then placing them in the slow cooker is a key to getting the flavour and moisture sealed into the dish. Enjoy with utter abandon.


Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 12 filleted chicken thighs with skin on

  • 1 large onion - chopped

  • 1 Tin lentils

  • 1 Tin tomato puree

  • 500ml chicken stock

  • 200g dried apricot, chopped

  • 200g blanched whole almonds

  • 1 Bunch fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 Bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped


Moroccan Spice Blend

  • 1 TBSP sea salt

  • 1 TBSP ground cumin

  • 1 TBSP ground coriander seeds

  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika

  • 1 TBSP cinnamon powder

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp thyme, dried

In a glass bottle combine all the ingredients from the Moroccan spice blend. Shake well until everything is well combined.


Moroccan Spice Paste

  • 2 TBSP olive oil

  • 1 TBSP brown sugar

  • 1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced

  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 TBSP Fresh turmeric, minced

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients from the Moroccan spice paste and mix until completely blended.


Method

  1. Place the chicken thigh fillets in a plastic ziplock bag together with the spice paste and massage the paste into the fillets until well coated. Leave for several hours or overnight to marinade.

  2. Remove chicken from bag and lightly dust with plain flour to coat the thighs and retain the flavour.

  3. Heat 4 TBSP oil in a large pan and add the spice blend. The spices should warm up and bubble slightly before adding the chicken.

  4. Sauté the chicken until lightly browned - turning every could of seconds to prevent burning.

  5. Once browned place the chicken into a slow cooker or large casserole dish.

  6. Add the chopped onion to the pan with the leftover chicken fat and spices. Gently cook until soft. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and tomato puree. Then pour over the chicken and leave to cook for at least 4 hours in the slow cooker or in an oven at 160 degrees Celsius.

  7. An hour before you are ready to serve, add the drained lentils, chopped apricots and chopped fresh parsley. And mix in well.




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