Some of the flavours that just taste of Morocco to me have to be the combination of lemon, olives, fresh coriander and flat leaf parsley! All produce that is found in abundance here and form part of so many Moroccan dishes.
I am sure I have mentioned this before, but one of my favourite Moroccan recipe books has to be Paula Wolfert’s – Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. The book has been in print since 1973 and has to be one of the best collections of authentic Moroccan recipes around. I saw this recipe for Chicken Smothered with Green, Cracked Olives which seemed to be just the perfect combination of all of the above flavours! Served with some vegetable and barley couscous, it is a delicious meal!
I have adjusted the recipe to use skinless chicken thighs and reduced the amount of olives, as well as just using ready pitted green olives.
Herewith my adaptation of the original recipe :
8 skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp saffron (use ½ tsp turmeric if you don’t have saffron)
3 cloves chopped garlic
½ cup grated onion
1 cup chopped fresh coriander and flat leaf parsley
½ tsp cumin
2 Tbs olive oil
½ tsp sweet paprika
Salt to taste
3 cups water
1 cup pitted green olives
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (or more if you wish)
1 Tbs flour (if needed)
Place all the ingredients except the olives and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the olives and lemon juice and simmer for another 15 minutes.
If you want to thicken the sauce a little, remove the chicken from the sauce; mix the flour with a bit of the sauce before adding to the saucepan and whisk until it thickens slightly. Return the chicken to the sauce and serve.
For the couscous:
I have recently found barley couscous here which I had never seen before. It is delicious and nutty and a bit lighter than the semolina couscous! You can really add any veggies you have in the fridge to this!
1 cup barley couscous, or plain couscous if you can’t find the barley type.
Cooked according to the package instructions.
1 small red onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
2 courgettes, sliced
A handful of button mushrooms, sliced
1 tomato chopped
½ cup chopped coriander and parsley
1 tsp cumin
Heat the olive oil and fry the onions for a few minutes before adding the rest of the vegetables and frying until soft. Add the fresh herbs and cumin and fry for another minute or two. Add the couscous and mix together.
Both recipes will serve 4.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!