Easy Moroccan Chicken Stew

With the rain back in California, I couldn't stop hearing faint echos from my Dutch oven saying, "stew, stew, steeeeew". Perhaps a little creepy, but she was right, it is just the time for stew.

Besides, I needed the reminder. I usually make soup when it rains, always seeming to forget about the comfort of a good hearty stew.

Keeping it kid friendly, I went for a Moroccan chicken stew. Unlike many Indian or Thai dishes, this stew is mild in heat, but more than makes up for it in flavor due to spices like paprika, turmeric, and cinnamon so common in Moroccan food. Slowly simmered for more than an hour, the chicken is so juicy it falls off the bone.

My mouth is watering as I think about it.

You guys, it is soo eassyyy to make! Plus, it's toddler approved! Octavian loved the chicken and actually ate couscous with some sauce over the top (little did he know he actually ate eggplant too!).

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Total Time: approximately 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2.5 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1.5 teaspoons cumin
1.5 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 roma tomatoes (or tomato of choice), roughly chopped
2 cups water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
zest from one lemon
8 chicken thighs, skin and fat removed
12 drumsticks, skin and fat removed
1 large eggplant, chopped into cubes
3 tablespoons dried marjoram
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Fresh chopped cilantro, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a heavy wide pot or large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute or until fragrant. Mix in paprika, salt, turmeric, coriander, fennel seeds, cumin, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon and cook on medium for approximately 1 minute before adding the chopped tomatoes, water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. 
  2. Arrange chicken in the pot and spoon sauce over the top to prevent the chicken from drying out as it cooks. Return pot to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot and allow chicken to simmer for 20-30 minutes. After 20-30 minutes, turn the chicken over, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Gently stir in cubed eggplant and marjoram into the chicken and continue to cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove cover and cook over medium high heat for an additional 15 minutes or until eggplant is fully cooked.
  4. Season stew with additional lemon juice, salt, paprika, or other spices as you see necessary. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and fresh cilantro for serving.

Enjoy!

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