Monday, January 12, 2015

Lemonade Cafe: Braised Moroccan Chicken Yumilicious

Lemonade's Moroccan Chicken
This recipe is adapted from the Lemonade Cafe/LA recipe book.  If you haven't been and live in LA-you're hibernating more than this winter season AND don't get out enough.  Take an opportunity and check out this hip eatery that offers seasonal, fresh & clean eating.  This is our go to stop pretty much when the wheels are down from the Boston flight.  There is more than something for everyone-and it's best to go as a first timer with with someone 'in the know' for the ease of ordering.  In my case, it's my sistahhh, it's a beautiful luncheon as we basically like the same things and she steers me to only 'the best' of the best dishes.  (THEY ARE ALL GOOD).  Otherwise, have no fear-they offer samples all the way down the line.
The recipe calls for a Dutch Oven, I have one but opted for my slow cooker at low temperature for 3.5 hours, as I had   I also used only skinless, boneless thighs-because I'm lazy and am cutting the fat out every way I can-after all it's only the second week in January.  This dish hits both my sweet and savory cravings because of the dates and olives and a little bit of brown sugar. I would suggest serving with Israeli Couscous or a long grain rice.

Moroccan Chicken, dates, olives

1 TBL granulated garlic
1 TBL ground cumin
1 TBL light brown sugar
2 tea. ground ginger
2 tea. course salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tea. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
4 chicken thighs, bone in-skin on
4 legs, bone in, skin on
2 TBL canola oil
1 onion chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped ( 1 TBL)
12 pitted green olives such as Manzanilla
12 black pitted olives, like Kalamata
12 dried dates
4 sprigs fresh thyme-leaves stripped from stem
1 quart low sodium chicken broth

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, sugar, ginger and S & P; toss with your fingers to mix. Rub the spice mixture onto the chicken.
Place a large Dutch Oven or pot over medium-high heat and coat with the oil When the oil is hot, add half of the chicken and brown (about 5 minutes per side) without moving the pieces around so they sear. Remove the browned chicken to a platter and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
To the drippings in the pot, add the onion, garlic and the bell pepper.  Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften and begin to get some color.  Add the ginger, olives, dates, thyme, oregano and broth.  Nestle the chicken back in the pot, along with the juices, so the pieces are covered with the olives and stuff; season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to medium low, simmering for 45 minutes.  Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes to reduce the sauce until slightly thickened. (pg 128 the lemonade cookbook)

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