Ofttimes, love of particular food is cultivated, not solely because of the food itself, but the tremendous power it has to evoke happy memories.
For me, it’s the unique flavours of Morocco that bring back a flood of beautiful memories of my time spent in El Jadida. In particular, I think of the amazing meal I shared with a Moroccan colleague who invited me to his home to share lunch with his family. His mum had obviously been cooking most of the day to put on a feast of traditional Moroccan dishes; an assortment of French pastries, sweet Moroccan tea, a huge dish of mouth-watering couscous with chicken falling off the bone, fresh goats milk, and my all-time favourite, bastilla. The pride she had in her food and the absolute pleasure she took from sharing it with me made me feel truly humbled, and it is one of those memories that will forever be in my heart.
Since moving back to Australia and honing my own culinary skills, I have enjoyed experimenting with Moroccan spices; cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, turmeric… it’s an easy way to add that extra ingredient, love, to a meal.
This month, I have embarked on another Whole30, and with it, a great deal of paleo recipe experimentation. I put this one together last night, and perhaps I was just really hungry, but I think it was one of the best meals I’ve ever come up with.
Moroccan Spice Mix
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander seed
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
Slow Cooked Moroccan Chicken
- 6 organic chicken drumsticks
- 6 organic chicken thigh fillets
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 tsp grated ginger
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1 sachet tomato passata (preferably, make your own)
- 500ml chicken bone broth (or filtered water)
- Combine half the spice mix with ginger, garlic and olive oil and brush over chicken. Allow to marinate overnight (or at least 6 hours).
- Sear off chicken for about 2-3 minutes each side, place in slow cooker with passata, bone broth and apricots and slow cook for 4-8 hours.
- 1/2 cauliflower, blitzed in a food processor
- 2-3 tbs lard / ghee / coconut oil
- 2 carrots, diced and steamed (or sweet potato)
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, finely diced
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 preserved lemon, finely diced (or zest of 1 lemon if you can’t get preserved lemons)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup almond flakes, toasted
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Sauté garlic and the remaining spice mix with the lard in a large frying pan for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
- Add cauliflower, steamed carrot, apricots, raisins, preserved lemon and most of the almond flakes (leave some aside to garnish). Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Stir through coriander just before serving.