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Moroccan Chicken and Moroccan Spice Mix, Two in One Bonus!

December 16, 2010

Let me start by saying that there is likely nothing authentic about this Moroccan Chicken and Moroccan Spice Mix.  But it is terribly delicious!  The spice mix will make your kitchen smell heavenly, as though you have been toiling for hours, no matter what you choose to put it on.  I use it to make Moroccan Chicken. I’ve also used it in the past as a holiday gift (with recipes for spice mix and chicken attached).

Let’s start with the spice mix.  I buy all of my spices at Herb & Spice, a lovely, local, mostly organic spice and grocery store where you can buy as little as pennies worth of spices from their gorgeous and exhaustive spice drawers if you are on a budget.  A possible alternative store in your region may include a Bulk Barn or something similar.  Please do not ever feel pressured into buying the poorly sized jars of tasteless spices from your grocery store, generally priced at five dollars or more a piece.  It would be ridiculous to spend $30 at your grocery store to make this spice blend when you only need a small amount of each spice.  Try to find a place where you can buy only what you need.  Further to this, make yourself up a little batch and keep it in a little jar so you don’t need to make it each time you want a little Moroccan Chicken.

Moroccan Spice Mix Ingredients:

4 tbsp Paprika (this is the bright red unlabeled spice in the centre of the photo)

2 tbsp Cumin powder

1 tbsp each Cinnamon, Ginger, Coriander, and Tumeric (or Mustard Seed), all ground, powdered versions

Makes one little spice jar full.  Note in the image below, those bags of spices are folded in half and the prices are from the original purchase when they were full (many spice mixes ago!).  Don’t let the grocery stores fool you with their overpriced and, frankly, under spiced jars. In the writing is too small for reading, top row is Cumin, Mustard Seed, Ginger, Coriander, bottom row is Cinnamon (a grocery store purchase, bad me!), and Sweet Hungarian Paprika specifically.

Moroccan Chicken Ingredients:

Chicken, as many pieces as needed, boneless or bone-in, any cut you prefer

Moroccan Spice Mix, about 1/2 tbsp per piece of chicken

Various vegetables in as many colours as possible, I tend to use two different peppers, carrots, zucchini, tomato, garlic or whatever else I find in my fridge

Bit of oil for frying (sorry, I missed that in the photo…)

SIDE DISH IDEA : rice and red lentils

Start by rinsing your chicken!  You won’t have time to do this once you put your spice mix in your frying pan.  While we are here, I may as well let you know that I generally eat this dish with a side of rice and lentils, so if you’d like to as well, you may as well get them started.  Both the rice and the chicken dish take approximately the same amount of time once you turn the stove on, so they are a good combo.

You can make rice and lentils the same way you make rice.  Just put one cup COMBINED of rice and red lentils (I use half and half) with two cups of water on the stove, turn to medium until boiling then turn down to low and let simmer for a good 40 minutes until all the water is absorbed.  Don’t stir.  You don’t even need to really measure properly, just use any cup or mug you have.

Heat a frying pan on medium, then “toast” the spice mix for about one minute.  Your kitchen starts to smell incredible from the first moment!  I made two pieces of chicken, so I used 1 tbsp of Moroccan Spice Mix.

Add a tiny bit of oil to your toasted spices.

Place your chicken top-side down right into those spices.

Flip after about one minute to see your sublime creation so far!

Chop up your vegetables into nice big pieces.  You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this, those big chunks are going to have plenty of time to cook down.

Add your vegetables to the frying pan.

Let cook covered on medium-low for about 40 minutes.  Stir once in a while so the chicken isn’t always sitting on the bottom of the pan.  I don’t have a lid for my pan, so I use a piece of tinfoil.  You can see the rice and lentils simmering on level 1 at the back and the covered chicken and vegetables on level 4 at the front.

It is hard to tell from the photo below, but all of those vegetables are melt-in-your-mouth tender and the juices from the vegetables is enough to keep the chicken nice and moist.  Just perfect!

The complete meal of Moroccan Chicken with rice and red lentil side dish.  Notice you can’t even tell there are red lentils in the rice even though it is literally half and half!  Let me also note, you can’t taste a difference either.  Healthier practices don’t have to be difficult… just saying.

The other half of the dish fits nicely in a tupperware for lunch for work the next day.  Something to look forward to!

Do you know of another spice mix recipe we should all be trying? Jump up.

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