Midnight at the oasis - Moroccan chicken curry
|Fruity and spicy, colourful and traditional...medievalicious
I therefore feel it has a place to be served here in El al Gharb tonight. Renowned for its tagine,that conical shaped cooking vessel,one does not think about curry as one of Morocco´s dishes.In fact, many Moroccan spices are the same as those commonly used in the Indian kitchen. Spices play an important role in Moroccan cooking. However, for those of us used to the Indian masalas, the cuisine is not spicy at all, though there are many different notes in a single dish. Common herbs are fresh coriander and parsley. In my dreams it transported me to the fragrance of beautiful nights in Marrakech.I have never actually been to Morocco so I hope they do have fragrant nights, otherwise my allusion is somewhat prosaic.But what I produced was big mood, as they say on social media these days.It really rocked the Berber boat.Its midnight at the oasis and you´ve put your camel to bed, so here is a suggestion if you are in the mood for rustling up something for a sultry night.
A warm Moroccan chicken curry serves 2
1 preserved lemon
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
dessert spoon runny honey
1 medium onion sliced
1 garlic clove sliced
handful of coriander stalks
1-14½ ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup water
10g french beans or runner beans
1 small green pepper,cut into thin strips
1 small chicken breast per person
1 heaped teaspoon good quality Moroccan curry powder
1/2 tsp ras al hanout
First make the spice paste.Remove the flesh from the lemon and discard.Chop the rest of the lemon and the other four ingredients blitz to a thick paste in a food processor
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and green pepper. Cover and cook until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and coriander stalks, stir and cook for 1 minute.Stir in the spice paste,and mix well.
Add curry powder and Ras al Hanout, stir and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add tomatoes, a little water and some lemon juice; bring to a gentle boil. Arrange the chicken in the pan in a single layer, spoon some sauce over the chicken. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn chicken over, cover, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 15 more minutes.
Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 2 minutes for young, smaller green beans, 3 minutes for larger green beans. Remove to an ice bath to stop the cooking.
Add blanched green beans around the chicken, spoon some sauce over, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes to blend flavors and heat through. Season to taste with more lemon juice, if desired, and salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to large shallow bowl or rimmed platter. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro. Excellent served with couscous or rice to soak up all the delicious sauce.