Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chicken Thighs In Moroccan Spice Date Sauce (with a twist)

If you recall from one of my previous posts, I had done some research into a Moroccan spice blend and promised to try to make something once I had said blend put together. I managed to get most of the ingredients for this blend together so I thought I would give it a run with some boneless chicken thighs. I altered the sauce a bit by giving it a Canadian Twist Nadia G style by adding Maple syrup instead of honey. Here is the recipe:

Chicken Thighs in Moroccan Date Sauce

5-6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBSP Nydia's Moroccan Spice Blend (See recipe below)
5 Cardamom Pods
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
10 Dates (pitted if possible)

Nydia's Modified Moroccan Spice Blend

2 tsp Ground Ginger Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground All Spice
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Tumeric Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Anise Seeds (crushed)
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

Preheat oven to 380 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure your oven rack is centered in the oven.

Place your chicken thighs in a large resealable bag (ziplock bag as it is know to US natives), adding in the minced garlic, 2 TBSP of the olive oil and the 2 TBSP of the Moroccan spice blend and make sure to mix all the ingredients well to evenly coat the chicken thighs. Let the thighs marinade in this mixture until you are ready to use them.

In the meantime in a dutch oven or flame proof casserole heat the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil at medium high heat and add the cardamom pods allowing them to roast for about 5 minutes. (Remember to crack the pods just a bit otherwise they will not render their flavor)

Add in the chicken thighs (making sure to let everything in the bag drip into the dutch oven/casserole) and sear slightly on top and bottom.

Add in the chicken stock, maple syrup and dates, and allowing the ingredients to get heated to a boil.

Cover the dutch oven/casserole and transfer from the stove top into the oven. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes to 1hr making sure to check every 15 minutes to make sure that the liquid has not reduced too much (You should have enough liquid in the pot to allow for a generous amount of sauce. If you notice the liquid is drying up add a little more chicken stock).

Serve with some rice and roasted vegetables and enjoy.

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