Casseroling chicken with chickpeas and spices is a great dish for a chilly evening. This is one of the family favourites: it is easy to prepare and tasty. The almonds and dried fruit add a sweetness that complements the subtle spicy flavours.
Moroccan-style chicken, almond and chickpeas
- 1 kg of chicken breasts (see Notes)
- 2 cups of chickpeas (or 1 cup of dried)
- a handful of almonds
- 1-2 onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 cm fresh ginger
- 1 stick of cinnamon (or 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
- 1/2 teaspoon each of ground ginger and turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons of dried fruit: currents, sultanas, dates or raisins
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 cup of warmed stock or water
- If you haven’t already, soak the chickpeas overnight, then boil them for about an hour until they are soft. Put the cooked chickpeas into the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Toast the almonds in a hot frypan. You can chop them, but we like them whole. Add them to the casserole dish, on top of the chickpeas.
- Cut the chicken breasts into serving-sized pieces and sear them over a medium heat until they are browned. Arrange the chicken in the casserole dish in a layer over the chickpeas and almonds.
- In the same frypan, saute the onion, garlic, and the spices. Spoon the mixture over the top of the chicken breasts.
- Combine the lemon juice and stock/water, then pour it over the casserole.
- Cook in a 350 degree F (180 C) oven for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is properly cooked.
You can use chicken breast, or a whole chicken cut into pieces. The latter will come out a bit fattier, but some people prefer that taste.
The chicken is cooked when you can plunge a skewer into one of the thickest pieces and only clear juice runs out.
Serve with rice or couscous.
Source: Adapted from: Fresh Ways with Poultry (1986) Healthy Home Cooking. Time Life Books: USA.