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Moroccan Chicken Stew with Apricots

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Rich warm spices and sweet dried fruit make this Moroccan stew an instant favorite. Once you’ve prepped the ingredients, it’s only a matter of letting it cook. A slow cooker makes for even easier prep. Leave in the morning and come home to the sweet and savory aromas of dinner ready to eat.

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus overnight marinating

Total time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours

MOROCCAN CHICKEN STEW

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Recipe Moroccan Sauce (see below)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1‑inch cubes or slices
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small sweet potato or 1/2 small winter squash (kabocha, butternut, buttercup, etc.; peeled), cut into 1‑inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 dried apricots, whole or diced, or 4 fresh apricots, quartered and pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Place the sauce in a large zip-top bag, add the chicken, seal the bag, and massage to completely coat the chicken with the sauce. Place it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight (or cook it immediately if you have less time).

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or stovetop-safe slow cooker insert over medium heat, or in a slow cooker on the sauté setting. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the chicken and sauce from the bag, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, water, and salt. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, or transfer the ingredients or the slow-cooker insert to the slow cooker. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours on the stovetop (longer, slow cooking creates a more savory dish) or cook on low in a slow cooker for up to 8 hours or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If desired, remove the lid for the last 15 to 30 minutes to thicken the sauce.

Serve hot.

Calories: 459

Carbohydrate: 22 g

Protein: 37 g

Fat: 26 g

MOROCCAN SAUCE

Although traditional spice mixes rely on ground ginger and turmeric, the fresh roots add a bright flavor that can’t be matched. The combination of sweet and savory in this sauce makes it a great companion to almost any protein.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Total time: 7 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (2‑inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 (3‑ to 4‑inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  • 9 or 10 sprigs cilantro, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Place all the ingredients in a wide-mouthed mason jar or cup that will fit an immersion blender without splashing. Blend, working the blender in the jar until the garlic, ginger, and turmeric are smooth.

Place a lid on the jar. For best results, set aside for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 week

Calories: 45 (Per 1 tablespoon)

Carbohydrate: 1 g

Protein: 0 g

Fat: 5 g

*Cauliflower Couscous plus Phase 2 and 3 Meal variations available in the cookbook