This dish of chicken cooked with lots of onions, saffron, and other Moroccan spices is easy to make and is the savory foundation to a number of delicious Moroccan specialties such as Chicken Bastilla and Chicken Briouats.
Saffron threads, a featured seasoning in Moroccan cooking, are the stigmas from a small purple crocus. Saffron is the world's most expensive spice by weight since each flower has only three stigmas, which have to be carefully hand-picked and dried, resulting in the saffron threads we find in jars on store shelves. Since this is a laborious process, and it takes over 14,000 of tiny stigmas to create an ounce of saffron, the spice comes with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, a little goes a long way.
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces and skin removed
- 2 large sweet white or yellow onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 small pieces (2 to 3 inches) of cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Mix all ingredients in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Cover and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is very tender and pulls easily off the bone. Do not add water, and be careful not to burn the chicken.
- Reduce the liquids until they are mostly oils. Discard the cinnamon sticks and taste for seasoning. (The sauce should be a bit salty and peppery.)
- Serve the chicken and sauce on a bed of rice or hidden within a mound of steamed broken vermicelli or couscous.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||43 g|
|Saturated Fat||14 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||20 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g|