For the second time in a little under a month, I managed to follow a recipe *almost* to a tee.
Hey, I’m getting good at this, and I have to admit that I’m really starting to enjoy it, too! It’s allowing me to get a real, genuine taste of other people’s creations’ true flavor profile and expand my own, by the same token!
This time, it was a recipe out of Joshua Weissman’s latest cookbook, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook that I decided to try out “as prescribed”.
All I did to modify this Braised Moroccan Chicken recipe is, one – I doubled it and two – I changed the cooking method. I chose to braise my chicken in the oven as opposed to doing it on the stove top, like Josh’s original recipe instructed.
Oh, and I used Meyer lemons instead of regular and Almond Stuffed Green Olives instead of Pimiento Stuffed, because that’s all I had on hand. Other than that, I stayed entirely true to the original recipe.
And I must admit that I was MIGHTY impressed! I will DEFINITELY be making this one again and absolutely can’t wait to try more of Josh’s recipe.
Wait. You do know Josh, right? Joshua Weissman, the amazing blogger behind Slim Palate and author of The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook? If you don’t, I strongly urge you to visit his blog AND to get his cookbook, too!
Seriously, Josh has got to be one of the most impressive kid out there, EVER! Yes, you read that right. I said KID! For Josh would in fact still be in his teenage years. That simple reality will honestly never cease to amaze me.
Seriously, the fact that this recipe book was written by a teenager absolutely BLOWS MY MIND, and I really think that it will blow yours, too. The level of maturity that Josh exhibits is absolutely astounding: the recipes that he elaborated are surprisingly complex and sophisticated, well refined and always CRAZY mouth watering! Each and every single one of them!And, I really mean that: Josh’s picture taking skills are BEYOND excellent. They make my photos look pale in comparison! The book is worth getting if only to lose yourself in the beauty of the printed images that illustrate each and every recipe.
And if that alone wasn’t enough, Josh also has an amazing story to share, in that he managed to lose over a 100 pounds simply by turning from trendy diets to real food. In his book, not only does he share a whole bunch of his favorite recipes, but he also shares how he developed a sensible, yet still indulgent, philosophy of eating for health and happiness. Can you say inspirational?
I think this kid has a brilliant, and HEALTHY future ahead of him. Trust me, you NEED to get your hands on his book. It might very well transform your life, too!
Josh has even generously offered to send a FREE copy of his cookbook to one of my readers! Oh, and not just any copy, either… A SIGNED copy! You lucky people, you! GAH! I wish I could enter that giveaway myself!
Take advantage of this generous offer and enter for your chance to win by using the form at the end of this post.
For now, let’s get busy cooking! Start by cutting the chicken into pieces. I prepped my chicken as follows: bone-in breasts cut in half crosswise, legs, thighs, and wings, so that was 10 pieces per chicken, total.
Sorry, I didn’t include a tutorial on how to cut the chicken. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for missing fingers and emergency trips to the hospital! Me prepping chicken is something you do NOT want to see. I think I’m a tad dangerous and would make any butcher out there grimace, for sure!
Once you’ve got your chicken all cut up, pat the pieces dry and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
Prep the rest of your ingredients so you have everything ready to go when needed.
Set a large Dutch oven over high heat and melt the ghee. Add the pieces of chicken, a few at a time, being mindful not to overcrowd the Dutch oven, and cook until crisp and golden, about 4-5 minutes per side.
Remove the cooked pieces of chicken to a large bowl to collect the precious juices.
Once all the pieces are browned, reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until onion starts to soften and turn translucent.
Add spice mix and continue cooking for about a minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
Add the water…
…and make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan to detach every little bit of flavor.
Bring the liquid to a simmer and then add the pieces of chicken back in. Don’t forget the meat juices. Add olives, sprinkle with half the cilantro and half the parsley, then squeeze the juice of 1 of the lemons.
Although Josh, in his original recipe has you braise this in batches on the stove top, I chose to take the lazy route and dumped everything in the Dutch oven and braise this at 350F oven for 1 hour, until the chicken got really tender and fell off the bone.
Already looks amazing, doesn’t it? You could almost serve this as is, right out of the Dutch oven.
But we’re gonna take things one step further and turn that braising liquid into a luscious and tasty gravy.
Remove the chicken and olives to a large shallow bowl or plate and strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve directly into a medium saucepan. Squeeze in the juice of the remaining lemon.
Mix the tapioca starch in 2 tbsp of water and pour that into the simmering cooking liquid
Bring back to the boil and cook for about one minute, whisking constantly.
Sprinkle the rest of the chopped parsley and cilantro all over the plated chicken…
… and serve with the thickened braising liquid poured right over top.
This chicken dish is so tasty and moist and juicy, I bet this will instantly become a favorite in your household. I know it has in mine… Wait. Is a household of one still a household? Bah… what does it matter, really. A favorite is still a favorite, no matter the size of the household!
And now, take a second to enter this giveaway for your chance to win a signed copy of The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook.
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 16-20 saffron threads
- ½ tsp Himalayan salt
- 2- 4lb chickens, cut into 10 pieces each (breasts cut in half, thighs, legs, wings)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-1/2 cup water
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 lemons (I used Meyer)
- 1 cup large green olives (I used almond stuffed)
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch + 2 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a small bowl, mix together all the spice ingredients. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken into pieces (bone-in breasts cut in half crosswise, legs, thighs, and wings), pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Set a large Dutch oven over high heat and melt the ghee. Add the pieces of chicken, a few at a time, being mindful not to overcrowd the Dutch oven, and cook until crisp and golden, about 4-5 minutes per side.
- Remove the cooked pieces of chicken to a large bowl to collect the juices.
- Once all the pieces are browned, reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until onion starts to soften and turn translucent. Add spice mix and continue cooking for about a minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
- Add the water and scrape the bottom of the pan to detach every little bit of flavor. Bring to a simmer then add the pieces of chicken back in. Don't forget the meat juices!
- Add olives, sprinkle with half the cilantro and half the parsley, then squeeze the juice of 1 of the lemons.
- Put the lid on and place in a 350F for 1 hour.
- Remove the chicken and olives to a large shallow bowl or plate and place in the [still warm but no longer on] oven to keep warm.
- Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve directly into a medium saucepan. Squeeze in the juice of the remaining lemon.
- Dilute the tapioca starch in 2 tbsp of water and pour that into the simmering cooking liquid. Bring back to the boil and cook for about one minute, whisking constantly.
- Serve the chicken with the thickened braising liquid poured over top.