I have been on a Moroccan spice kick lately. The flavors are so warm and pair well with many different meats. This recipe allowed me to use up some chicken and also included a more recent favorite of mine, chick peas.
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 bone-in, skin on, split chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (15 oz) can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 cups chicken stock, hot
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
In a small ramekin, combine the sea salt, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon and smoked paprika with a fork, and set aside.
Place the 4 split chicken breasts into a large bowl or onto a large platter, and drizzle them with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; next, sprinkle about half of the spice mixture from the the ramekin over the chicken breasts, and rub the spices into the chicken; set the remaining half of the spice mixture aside for a moment.
Place a large, heavy-bottom or cast iron braising pot over medium-high/high heat, and drizzle in about
2 tablespoons of the olive oil; once the oil becomes very hot, add the chicken breasts, skin-side down, and allow the skin to sear and become golden-brown, about 5-6 minutes; then, flip the chicken over, and allow it to sear on the bone-side for another 2-3 minutes; remove the chicken breasts from the pot, and set them aside for a moment; next, reduce the heat to low/medium-low, add in the sliced onion, and allow it to lightly caramelize for 2-3 minutes (add a touch more olive oil if needed), scraping up any brown bits from the bottom; next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the remaining half of the spice mixture from the ramekin, and stir to incorporate; next, stir in the tomato paste, and allow it to cook for just a moment or two; then add in the chopped tomatoes, the chickpeas, the orange zest and the hot chicken stock, and stir to combine; next, add the chicken breasts back into the pot, bone-side down and skin-side up, cover the pot with the lid slightly askew to vent, and simmer the chicken gently on low for about 40 minutes; to finish, stir in the chopped parsley, chopped cilantro and lemon zest, and add a pinch or two more of salt/pepper, if necessary; you can leave the chicken breasts on the bone, or remove the bones/ribs and cut the breasts into slices, to serve.
To serve, garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro, or some toasted almond slices.