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Here’s looking at you, Moroccan Chicken

Since a lot of our travel plans went out the window this year, one of our great “staycation” plans was to put in a backyard theatre that allows us to travel to many exotic places, some real and some make-believe!
One such place this summer was Casablanca, found on the sunny shores of Morocco, where Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman were up on the big screen in full black and white.
Morocco reminds me of all the wonderful cuisine they have, with influences from all over the world combined with the natural tropical ingredients that they have locally.
Moroccan cuisine can be heavy on the spices, flavour-wise, but not necessarily spicy (heat) even though it conjures up images of having been through the desert on a camel with no name.
Camel meat is hard to come by around here, so feel free to make this recipe with chicken (camel tastes like chicken, anyway).
Along with pungent spices, you may find fresh fruits and nuts in a lot of Moroccan dishes – this recipe uses all three, but I’ve never seen a camel with three humps.
Try pressing the chicken into the nuts after marinating to get as many as possible to stick. The smaller you chop the better.
The best thing is to then just sear long enough to lightly colour and allow the nuts to adhere to the chicken, then remove from frying pan, place on baking pan and finish cooking in the oven. This will allow the chicken to cook through without the nuts burning.
I would usually serve this with rice or, to be more authentic, some couscous, the grain so nice, they named it twice!

Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan cuisine can be heavy on the spices, flavour-wise, but not necessarily spicy (heat) even though it conjures up images of having been through the desert on a camel with no name.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb chicken breast

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp. ginger, minced

  • Half a red onion, minced

  • Juice of 1 orange

  • Salt & pepper

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon, allspice, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, chili powder

  • Juice of 1 orange

  • Chopped cilantro to garnish

Directions

  • Combine oil, juice on an orange, diced onion, garlic and ginger with spices and chicken.
  • Dip chicken in walnuts to lightly coat.
  • Add chicken to hot fry pan and sear on all sides.
  • Add additional orange juice.
  • Make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly and ingredients are all heated right through.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and walnuts.
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