It’s left overs tonight, so here is a recipe we had a few weeks ago. It was very good, I love the variety of flavors and textures. I also love that it uses squash. You can use either butternut squash or baking pumpkin. Make sure that you get a baking pumpkin, not a decorating pumpkin–otherwise you’ll be disappointed. One reason I particularly like middle eastern/Moroccan food is the combination of fruit and savory flavors, as well as veggies. This recipe does it very well.
This is very largely based on a Weight Watcher’s recipe that I got off the website. I only made a few changes. I was pleasantly surprized at how it turned out. If you don’t cook much, you may not have any cumin or coriander in your spice pantry. I highly recommend that you get some. Once you try middle eastern/ Moroccan food you will want to make a lot more. These two spices are frequently used in middle eastern cooking. They’re also both fantastic to add to chili. It’s suprising that we don’t use more coriander in American cooking–it’s the ground up seeds of cilantro, a very popular herb in the southwest.
Altitude note: since the rice cooks in the pot, instead of before you put it in, you need to add more broth. I found the rice a bit crunchy.
Moroccan Chicken and Apricots and Squash Points: 8 per serving Servings: 4
- 1 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 4-4oz pieces (about half a breast each)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 C butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 in cubes (about half a large squash–be warned, it takes a while to peel the squash.)
- 3/4 C uncooked jasmine or basmati rice
- 3/4 c dried apricot halves, roughly chopped.
- 1 small box raisins
- 1.5 C chicken broth (you may need more)
- 1/4 c fresh, minced, cilantro
- Lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400. Rub the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Coat a large, oven-proof, pot (like a Le Cruset or a dutch oven), with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add oil. When it begins to shimmer, add cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Cook until fragrant while stirring, about 30 sec.
- Add chicken and cook until lightly browned on both sides. It does not need to be cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside.
- Add onion and squash to the pot. Scrape the pot to incorporate the pan dripping. Cook, stir occasionally, until the onions start to become translucent and squash begins to soften. Takes a while–about a full 10 min.
- Add the rice and apricots and raisins to the veggies and mix together. Put the chicken on top. Pour in the broth, and bring to a boil for 1 min.
- Cover the pot and bake in the oven for 20-25 min. When it is done, the rice and the squash will be tender and the chicken will be cooked through. Check it about half way through to see if you need more broth for the rice. Sprinkle with cilantro, and squirt with lemon juice, before serving.
- Yields about 2 C (including a piece of chicken) per serving.