Braised Chicken with Dates and Moroccan Spices

This is such a warm and hearty meal!  We started making this recipe a few years ago, and it is a go-to when the weather is chilly and you need something warm and satisfying!  We generally serve it over whole wheat pearl couscous, but you can serve it with any rice or grain, or even with bread for dipping in the sauce.  Enjoy!


Braised Chicken with Dates and Moroccan Spices

Adapted from Bon Appetit, Nov 2010
Serves 6

1 ¾ pounds skinless chicken breast halves or thighs
½ tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound shallots (about 5 large), peeled and sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
6 dates, pitted, halved
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and flour. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces to pot and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking sheet or platter. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots to pot; sauté until golden, about 4-6 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Increase heat to high; add broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice. Place chicken pieces atop shallots in pot.

Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh or drumstick is pierced with knife, about 20 minutes (less time if using only boneless breast meat).

Remove chicken from pan, increase heat, and boil juices in pot until slightly thickened. Stir in dates and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently until dates are heated through, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce and dates over chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Nutritional info (using chicken breasts):
Calories 250.7
Total Fat 3.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 74.7 mg
Sodium 112.2 mg
Potassium 656.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 33.0 g

Nutritional info (using chicken thighs):
Calories: 264.6
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 112.0 mg
Sodium: 140.2 mg
Potassium: 319.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Sugars: 5.3 g
Protein: 28.8 g


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