During the night, it began to snow heavily here in Anchorage. Snow makes me want to cook. Of course, as my friend Paul says, so does rain. And sun. But never mind that.
Despite all the warnings, I managed to forget that daylight savings time started this morning. This made my early awakening an extra-early awakening, and I found myself in my kitchen before 7 a.m. preparing to bake a cake for our new neighbors and start a pot of something warm and filling for lunch today that I can continue to eat for lunch into the week.
I have to tell you, no one is at my neighborhood grocery store at 7 a.m. It's apparently the time to go if you want to miss everyone, particularly if you happen to still be wearing your pajama pants under a long coat and with a polka-dotted pair of Wellington boots.
The cake I'll blog about another day. The main event was a Moroccan-influenced slow cooker chicken dish. David hates the slow cooker with a passion (I have yet to figure out why; maybe because he likes the idea of big casseroles simmering on the stove?), but even he had to admit this dish was a hit.
Serve this over couscous or brown rice, and add a dollop of plain yogurt to the top or--if you're feeling fancy--a mint raita. While savory, this dish has an interesting acidic tang thanks to the stewed lemons.
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken
Adapted from Slow Cooker: FoodMadeFast
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
1.5 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
1 can crushed tomatoes with purée
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, quartered
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper
Combine the flour, one teaspoon of kosher salt and an equal amount of pepper in a wide, shallow dish. Pat the chicken thighs dry and dredge them in the flour; set aside--don't discard any leftover flour.
|Make sure to shake off any excess flour; otherwise, the chicken will have a gummy coating.|
Add the remaining flour to the frying pan, along with the cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir until the spices are fragrant, about one to two minutes. Add the chicken broth all at once and deglaze the pan, loosening the browned bits. Pour the contents of the skillet over the chicken thighs.
Top the chicken with the onion, shallot, parsley, garlic and tomatoes. Distribute the lemons in the corners of the slow cooker pot. Cook on the high setting for four hours; then add the chickpeas and cook for approximately another hour. Remove the lemon quarters when you add the chickpeas, and taste for seasoning, adding additional salt and/or pepper if needed.
Serve with brown rice or couscous. Serves 6 as a main course.