Tag Archives: Stew

Moroccan Chicken Stew

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Moroccan Chicken Stew

My Mom recently handed me a stack of cookbooks that my grandma had rescued for me from my aunt’s garage sale (my family knows that I love to cook). There was a recipe in one for Moroccan Lamb Soup which got me thinking about Moroccan food again, so I decided to put together a simple one-pot meal for those of us who don’t have a good source for lamb (seriously, where do I even buy that?).

Behold, Moroccan Chicken Stew:

morchickstew2I brought the leftovers to work and had to brag to my co-workers about this bowl of sweet, sweet deliciousness. I used chicken thighs, but if you’re a bit more particular about your meat chicken breasts or tenders would also work well in this dish.

I tossed the chicken pieces in a mixture of flour and Moroccan spices then added them a hot dutch oven that had been browning some onions for me. In went some garlic, canned tomatoes, chick peas, and raisins. I wanted to add some green olives, but the husband loathes such things so we went without.

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A sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves (also known as cilantro) brought just the right amount of freshness to this warm and hearty stew.

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I can’t believe how easy and scrumptious this was, especially because all of the ingredients are totally pantry staples. This dish would also freeze well if you wanted to make a big batch and save some for a rainy day (you know, like mid-June in Portland).

Serve it up with some sweet Moroccan Mint Tea and you’ve got yourself a meal that will transport you straight to Casablanca.

Here’s how I made it:

Makes: 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can whole tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed olives (optional)
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. loosely packed fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves

Directions:

  1. In a  6-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and cook until light golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile mix flour with coriander, cumin, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon in a shallow dish or pie plate. Toss chicken with flour mixture to coat evenly.
  3. Add chicken to Dutch oven and cook 7 minutes or until lightly browned, turning chicken over as needed to prevent sticking. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  4. Stir in tomatoes with their juices, beans, raisins, olives (if using), and water; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Break up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Served garnished with cilantro.

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Nutrition (per serving):

361 calories, 10 g. fat, 31 g. protein, 38 g. carbs, 9 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 9

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Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

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Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

I mentioned in my previous Brazilian Mojito post that the husband and I honeymooned in Brazil. We had such an incredible time in Rio de Janeiro, but my favorite part of our trip was when we ventured a few hours north to the beaches of Buzios. We stayed in this beautiful little boutique hotel called “casas brancas,” which translates to “white houses.” These pictures show the door to our room – it felt perfectly tropical.

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In the morning we would wake up and walk out onto the most beautiful balcony with a truly incredible view of the bay.

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Here’s the husband checking out the boats early in the morning. Look how clear that water is!

On our second morning there we decided to rent a boat for the day and go check out some of the coves and beaches. This really lovely local couple took us out on their boat and told us all about the history of the town and beaches, and made us some lovely Caipirinhas to sip as we cruised around.

braz4The water was so incredibly warm, clear, and blue – we snorkeled around and saw all sorts of amazing plants and creatures. We laid out on the beach, had a few more cocktails, then headed back towards town to check out a restaurant we had heard of which was famous for Moqueca.

braz5Moqueca is a Brazilian specialty – fish stew. In the picture above it is the one on the right. It has a rich, salty broth, a robust tomato presence, and melt-in-your-mouth pieces of flaky, buttery white fish.

This past weekend I got a wild hair and decided to make a batch for the husband as an ode to our incredible honeymoon. Seriously, you guys – this was delicious! When we ordered the Moqueca in Brazil I didn’t think I was going to like it that much. I’ve really been exploring different tastes and cuisines lately and I’m so glad that this dish was one of them! Give it a shot, it’s totally scrumptious.

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While this dish is full of complex flavor profiles, it is very simple to make and takes very little active time. The fish needs to marinate for three hours in the fridge, so making this on a weekend may be your best bet. Conversely, you could put the fish in the fridge to marinate before you leave for work, then come home and prepare the rest of the Moqueca.

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I happened to have a bunch of tilapia on hand, but you could use any firm white fish. Snapper, sea bass, or grouper would be especially delicious!

Here’s how I made it:

Makes: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped, divided
  • 1 green onion (white and green parts), chopped, divided
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 1/4 lbs. firm white fish, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 c.  freshly chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/3 c. freshly chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 c. fat free, low-sodium chicken  broth
  • 1 c. light coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp.tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp.lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c.canned or jarred hearts of palm, drained and diced (if you’ve never tired these, be aware that they are VERY yummy!)
  • 2 small tomatoes, seeded, and diced (you could also used canned tomatoes here)

Directions:

  1. In a shallow bowl, mix together half of the green onion, half of the yellow onion, half of the ginger, half the cilantro, half of the garlic, and 4 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add the chunks of fish and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  2. 30 minutes prior to cooking, remove the fish from the fridge to let it come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay out your fish on a large baking sheet and pour the lemon juice on top. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Bring the extra 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the remaining green onion and yellow onion to the pan along with the  bell peppers and cook about 3 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add the rest of the garlic and ginger to the pan and saute for another minute or until it’s hot. Add the chicken broth and let it come to a full boil. Add the coconut milk and tomato paste and return to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to medium-low or so and gently simmer the sauce while you prepare the fish.
  5. Place your tray of fish in the oven and bake until the fish is almost but not quite cooked through, 10 to 14 minutes.
  6. Add the almost-cooked fish and cooking juices into the saute pan of sauce.  Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the fish is soft and tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. Uncover the pan, add the hearts of palm and tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  8. Taste the moqueca and adjust salt and pepper seasonings. Serve topped with the remaining fresh cilantro.

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Nutrition (per serving):

361 calories, 23 g. fat, 23 g. protein, 9 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 10