Moroccan Chicken Thighs with Fig Sauce and chopped Pecans over Steamed Rice, served with Thyme Potatoes
This evening I made my very first Moroccan meal, and it was a huge success! My husband said this rates in my Top 3 meals of all time. So, I’m happy to share what I did. I used all organic ingredients for the components of this meal and the house still smells amazing; Moroccan food is such beautifully fragrant cuisine.
For the Moroccan Chicken Thighs, I used the following ingredients:
- 8 Organic Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Roughly 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 1/2 of a large Onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 Tsp. or so of Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Tsp. or so of Salt
- Several Saffron Threads
- 1 full bunch of Cilantro, chopped
- 5 Tablespoons of Butter
- 1 C Water
- Moroccan Spice #3 (technically for fish, but it worked great in this dish — similar to Ras el Hanout, a Moroccan spice blend)
I rinsed and patted the chicken thighs dry and then rubbed them with a generous amount of the Moroccan Spice #3 and refrigerated them for about an hour. I put the olive oil in the bottom of a large pot and added the sliced onions, garlic, ground ginger, salt, and positioned the seasoned chicken thighs down in the pot, added the water, saffron threads, and chopped cilantro. I brought it to a boil and then reduced the heat and simmered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then I melted 5 tablespoons of butter and browned the thighs and then pulled them off to rest under a foil tent. The wonderful cooking broth will be used in plating.
For the Fig Sauce, I used the following ingredients:
- 1 package of California Figs (from Trader Joe’s), each fig cut in 1/2
- Fig Butter (also from Trader Joe’s)
- Roughly 1 Tsp. Ground Ginger
- Roughly 1 Tsp. Nutmeg
- Roughly 2 Tsp. Cinnamon
- Some Honey
- 4 Tablespoons or so of Butter
- Some Cooking Wine
- Chopped Pecans, for garnish (traditionally, I think walnuts would be used but I’m allergic to those…plus I love pecans)
I melted the butter and added the figs and started to cook them over medium heat. As they started to soften, I added some cooking wine and reduced it down. I added the spices and then I added about 4 or 5 heaping tablespoons of Fig Butter and a couple of heaping tablespoons of honey. The sauce cooked down to a nice thick consistency.
For the Thyme Potatoes, I used the following ingredients:
- About 1 1/2 lbs. of Yellow Potatoes
- 1 full package of fresh Thyme
- 1 C Water
- 2 Tablespoons or so of Olive Oil
- 1/4 of a large Onion, thinly sliced
- Pinch of White Pepper
- About 1/2 C canned chopped organic Tomatoes
The potato dish takes about 30 min. cooking time, so start it about 15 minutes after you’ve started the chicken, and then while they’re cooking you can work on the fig sauce. I rinsed the thyme and set aside a couple of sprigs for garnish and then removed the leaves from the other sprigs to add to the dish. I cut the potatoes into pieces and sliced the onion thinly. Actually, all of my prep work is always done prior to starting any cooking, but you get the idea. :-) Mis en place! I put the olive oil in the bottom of a pan and sauteed the onion until golden brown (about 5 minutes), then added the salt, pepper, and water and brought it to a boil. Then I added the potatoes and tomatoes, covered them, reduced the heat, and cooked them for about 10 minutes. Then added the thyme leaves, covered again, and cooked them for another 15 minutes.
Prior to cooking the other dishes I put about 3 cups of organic Madagascar Pink Rice into the rice steamer to cook.
To plate it up, I put a bed of the steamed rice on the plate and then ladled some of the delicious chicken cooking juices over it, then added the fig sauce, placed 2 chicken thighs onto the rice and topped the rice, chicken, and fig sauce with crushed pecans. Then I added a portion of the thyme potatoes to the plate, and voila! — My first Moroccan dinner. :-) Brian loved it! I have to say, it truly is one of my best efforts. I’m looking forward to trying more Moroccan food and will likely give homemade Warka Pastry Leaf a try and make some desserts.