Moroccan chicken hotpot
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Grape seed or rice bran oil, for frying
Olive oil, for cooking
700g – 1kg chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
2 onions, chopped
6 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated or chopped
2 tsp of each: ground coriander, cumin and turmeric
½ tsp each mixed spice, ground white pepper and ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp mild chilli powder (optional)
1 cup chicken stock
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
¾ cup chopped dried apricots or prunes (or both to make up the 3/4 cup)
½ cup Sicilian or Kalamata olive, (optional)
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tbsp honey
Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tsp juice
Zest of 1 orange plus 2 tsp juice
3/4 cup unsweetened yoghurt (or use coconut cream)
½ cup chopped fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, coriander, mint) plus extra for serving
Couscous or rice, to serve
Preheat the oven to 170c conventional bake.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat a splash of rice bran or grape seed oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. When it’s very hot, add the chicken a few at a time and fry until browned both sides (this add great flavour). Transfer to a casserole dish and repeat with the remaining thighs.
Add 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to the same pan you cooked the chicken over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another few minutes. Add the spices and chilli and cook for another few minutes (add 1-2 tbsp more olive oil if it looks dry). Add the stock, tomatoes, dried fruit, olives (if using) tomato paste, honey, lemon zest and juice and orange zest and juice. Stir, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.
Carefully add the sauce to the dish with the chicken.
If you’re using fresh coriander at the end (which I highly recommend), finely chop up the stalks and stir through the mixture. Cover with a lid and bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Stir through the yoghurt or coconut cream and herbs, and season with salt to taste.
Serve the chicken on couscous, quinoa or rice with spoonfuls of the sauce. Garnish with extra zest, yoghurt, herbs and a squeeze of lemon if you like.
This is also lovely with some toasted flaked almonds on top to serve.
After combining the cooked chicken with the sauce, you can transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours on low or 2-3 on high – or just until you think it’s ready. Then after you’ve mixed the yoghurt through, bake in the oven for 15 minutes.