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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Snow City

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.
 Warm the olive oil in a large, shallow skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken thighs in a single layer;  this may mean you make more than one batch.  Brown the chicken on one side for seven to ten minutes until it is a deep caramel color.  Turn the chicken over and cook for another two to three minutes.  Make sure the chicken is well browned.  When it is all done, add the chicken in a single layer in the pot of the slow cooker.

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.


  1. Love the preparation method of the chicken on the bottom and all the veggies on top. No doubt this dish has great flavor! I am really wondering how this would taste-it is inspiring. Thanks for sharing this one!

  2. What a wonderful hearty dish! Book marked it :)

  3. This looks wonderful! Anytime I can use the slow cooker I am sold!

  4. Looks beautiful and wholesome! I reeeally need to get on the slow cooker train...

  5. I absolutely adore Moroccan spices! This looks really perfect for a snowy day (or any day really!) Gotta love a girl who braves the snow in her pajamas to bake her neighbors a cake! Great post! : )

  6. Chick peas is another one of those we also love at home, its a popular ingredient into Indian cuisines and your looks fantastic to blend with what we will enjoy.

  7. This looks delightful! I love anything with chick peas in it and that is made with a slow cooker for those quick week night dinners. And I love the array of spices! Thank you for sharing and very nice to "meet" you on Foodbuzz!

  8. The stewed lemons in there sound amazing! Love it!

  9. great slow cooker recipe,i just love all ingredients in it.yummy stewed for cold weather.

  10. What a fabulous dish! So many great flavors, and a bonus that it cooks in a crock pot :)

  11. Really liked your preparation. With all the veggies, chicken and chickpeas it looks very appetizing and filling. Chicken and salmon are the two non veg which I cook the most and I am always looking for good recipes. I am happily following you.

  12. This looks so flavorful! I love the moroccan spices!

  13. great recipe packed with flavors. love the vegies on top!

  14. Wow - does that look amazing! How did I miss this post? The chicken prep is *sigh* delicious! What a perfect dish for winter. Sorry you got up extra early....I'd've rolled over and went back to sleep!

  15. You are so right. Our dishes combined would be ummmazing!

  16. Yummy!! I can almost smell this from here. I swear, they need to make computers with Smell-O-Vision!