Braised Chicken with Dates (or Prunes) & Moroccan Spices
Adapted from Bon Appetit, by Joanne Weir
Serves 6 -8, Prep time: 10 mins., Cook time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Ingredients & Prep
3 ½ lbs. (8 to 10 pieces) chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, skin-on & bone-in
1 TBS all purpose flour
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
8 to 10 shallots, peeled
3 cinnamon sticks
1 ½ tsp ground ginger (or 1 TBS fresh grated ginger)
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper, mild to medium level of spice
3 cups chicken broth
5 TBS lemon juice, about 2 lemons
12 dates or prunes
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted (garnish)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)
Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and lightly with flour. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot (Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken pieces to pot and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter. Repeat with remaining chicken and transfer to platter
Reduce heat to medium. In leftover fat, add shallots to pot; sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add broth and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until shallots begin to soften, about 18 minutes. Place chicken pieces atop shallots in pot. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until juices run clear when thickest part of drumstick is pierced with knife, about 25 minutes.
Transfer chicken and shallots to platter; tent with foil. Over medium-high heat, reduce juices in pot until slightly thickened about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in dates or prunes and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently for about 2 more minutes. Taste the sauce; add a little salt and pepper if needed. Pour sauce and dates or prunes over chicken. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro, and serve.