I admit it, I typically skip over recipes with a laundry list of ingredients (both for my sanity and my wallet), but this one intrigued me for a few reasons:
Reason #1 –The hubby and I are going to Disney World for a mini vacation — yay! It just so happens that this trip falls on our 6-month anniversary, which is that much more fun! When the time came to think about reservations, I insisted that we MUST eat at the Moroccan restaurant in Epcot (based on past experience). This recipe definitely psyched us up for the trip.
Reason #2 — I have the best memories of eating Moroccan food with my family growing up, but I never really attempted to make it myself. It was definitely a special occasion to go out for Moroccan (not quite as accessible as, say, Chinese food), but there was just something magical about the restaurant, the food, and the decor…it was truly an experience!
Reason #3 — This recipe is like the ‘older, more mature sister’ of my absolute favorite Moroccan dish, Chicken Bastilla. Essentially, Bastilla is chicken in puff pastry sprinkled with powdered sugar. My sister and I were in heaven when our parents actually suggested that we order the sugary chicken for dinner (I promise, it’s more delicious than it sounds)! I figured this recipe is a more responsible, adult, and skinnier version with similar flavors (minus the powdered sugar). However, I will definitely be ordering the Bastilla in Disney. Just saying…
Okay, back to the recipe. The spices are the key to this dish being chock full of flavor — sweet, smoky, spicy, you name it, it’s in there. The cinnamon brings a bit of sweetness that’s so unique to Moroccan cuisine…so delicious! Packed with protein and veggies, this is a hearty, well-balanced dish. I served this with a side of whole-grain Cous Cous, but it would also pair well with a side salad or roasted veggies.
Moroccan Chicken with Chick Peas
Serves 4|Serving: 1/4 of recipe
Prep Time: 15 mins|Cook time: 25 mins
Calories per serving: 299|Carbs: 24g|Fat: 6g| Protein: 43g|Sodium: 578g|Sugar: 5g
Olive oil cooking spray
1 lb skinless chicken tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (a little goes a long way, but you can add more at the end for added spice)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced into strips
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 red pepper, chopped
3 Tb tomato paste
1 and 1/2 cups reduced-fat, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
Juice from 1/2 lemon (for garnish)
Optional side dish: 1 box of cous cous of your choice (I used roasted garlic) or salad/roasted veggies
Mix together paprika, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, chili powder, black pepper in a small prep bowl. Spray large skillet with cooking spray, add chicken and half of spice mixture. Saute to coat chicken with the spice mixture and cook on medium heat until browned. Once chicken is cooked through, transfer to a plate and remove from heat.
Add more cooking spray to skillet and add sliced onion, ground ginger, carrots, and red pepper. Saute until onions are caramelized and veggies have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining spice mixture to the skillet and toss with veggies until coated. Add chicken back into skillet along with tomato paste, chicken stock, chick peas, and crushed red pepper. Mix well to incorporate tomato paste with other ingredients. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens.
Transfer mixture to serving bowls and garnish with a squeeze of lemon.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Photo: Lighten Up Recipes