After living under the Slow Carb Diet lifestyle for 2 years now, I have decided it is an effective and healthy way to lose weight, and it might be time to take what I’ve learned and develop a range of menu plans. I’m starting with Dinner plans and you can view a portion of the first one by clicking on the “join” button after clicking here: Low-Carb Dinner Plan. It’s free for now (because it’s only half done), but when all 30 recipes are filled in it will be $6.99. If you like it let me know. I hope to go on to do low-carb meal plans for breakfast, lunch, parties, etc.
So, on to the Moroccan Chicken! This is one of the low carb meals on the plan, and it packs a lot of flavor into a one-pot meal. When this dish is made in a specific Moroccan clay cooking vessel it is known as a “tagine”. I don’t own a tagine, so I make it in a dutch oven and I’m pretty sure the taste is just as good.
The spice combinations are what distinguish the Moroccan dishes and can turn ordinary dishes into something truly special. This “stew” includes harissa paste along with the range of Moroccan dry spices. If you don’t have harissa, you could substitute in Sambal or another chili paste. Or, of course, you could order a great jar of harissa from HeathGlen Organic Farm.
With respect to the spices, it does make a difference to buy the cumin as whole seeds, give them a quick toast in a dry frying pan and then grind fresh in a coffee grinder. If that is too much to wrap your head around, just use the pre-ground spices from the supermarket, but try and get them as fresh as possible. You will notice the difference. On with the recipe….
RECIPE FOR MOROCCAN CHICKEN with LEMONS & OLIVES
- 2 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs and/or legs (6 thighs)
- salt & pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups chicken stock
2-3 Tbsp Harissa (or other chile paste)
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
- 1-2 fresh lemons, cut into wedges
- 8 garlic cloves, slightly smashed
- 1/2 cup coarsley chopped fennel bulb
- 1 onion, coarsley chopped or 2 leeks, white part only, sliced
- 3/4 cup black olives, pitted
- 1-inch ginger root, grated
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- Heat oil and butter in dutch oven (or large skillet). Salt and pepper chicken thighs and brown in the hot oil (skin side down). Remove chicken thighs and drain some of the oil out of the pot.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients except mint into the pot and stir together thoroughly. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add back in the chicken. Tear up about 1/2 cup mint and add to the pot. Cover and simmer for about an hour.
- Just before taking the pot to the table, scatter the remaining mint leaves over the chicken.