Saturday 29 November 2014

Moroccan Chicken Casserole

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

It's Saturday already - how fast has this week zoomed by?

 After my adventures in non-winter foods a few days ago, I think it's time to get back to more traditional November fare.
Cue, this Moroccan Chicken Casserole. A casserole is the quintessential winter meal and paired with a batch of homemade  cookies for dessert (which I have baking in the oven as I type), all will be well with the world.
People sometimes ask me where I get my recipe inspiration from, and I usually answer, "Everywhere". This casserole is one such example, when I was perusing the BBC Food website on a cold, grey Friday morning in November, and came across the recipe for this simple casserole.

 As soon as I saw it, I knew it was what we would be eating for dinner that night. Succulent chicken marinaded in smoky paprika, cumin and turmeric then cooked in a sauce with onions, lemon slices, saffron and olives. Served over freshly boiled rice, it will tick all the boxes for the perfect November dinner.

 A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Cumin Seeds
2. Ground Turmeric
3. Salt
4. Smoked Paprika
5. Olive Oil
6. Garlic

7. Whole Chicken Pieces

8. Onions
9. Lemon or Lime
10. Green Olives
11. Red Chilli Powder
12. Saffron Strands
13. Water
14. Fresh Coriander

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, make a spice paste. I used a pestle and mortar but you could also use a food processor.

Into the bowl, place 4 large Garlic Cloves, peeled and roughly chopped.

Sprinkle in a pinch of Salt.

Crush the garlic and salt together.

Next, take 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds and ...

.... sprinkle them into the bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika.

And, 1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric.

Grind ...

... to a paste.

Then, take Olive Oil and ..

... pour in just enough ..

.. to make a smooth paste.

The paste should be runny but thick enough to coat the chicken.

Speaking of chicken, take 1 Chicken, cut into pieces. I prefer using chicken on the bone here because I think it gives a better flavour but feel free to use boneless, if you wish.

Pour on all of the spice mix.

Mix really well to coat all of the chicken.
Cover the chicken and let it marinade overnight if you can, or for at least a few hours.

When the chicken is ready, it's time to make the casserole. Heat a few tablespoons Olive Oil in a deep saucepan over a medium heat.

When the oil is hot, add 2 medium Onions, peeled and roughly chopped.

Cook the onions until soft and lightly golden.

Add in the marinated chicken.

And, this wasn't in the original recipe, but I couldn't resist - 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder.

Give it a good stir.

Cook the chicken over a medium heat until lightly coloured - be sure to stir every now and then.

Then, add in 1 Lemon, thinly sliced. I didn't have a lemon so I used a lime - always make do with what you have in the fridge, if possible.

Next, pour in enough Water to cover the chicken halfway up.

Season with Salt and Black Pepper, to taste.

Stir together, and bring to the boil.
Simmer and cover on the lowest heat for 25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through.

Once cooked, give it a taste, and adjust the seasoning, if needed.

Finally, throw in a handful of Green Olives, pitted.

And, a handful of Fresh Coriander, chopped.

Stir everything for a final time, and serve up!

Serve in a big bowl with ...

... a pepper, tomato and sweetcorn salad and ..

... and plenty of boiled rice!

Full Written Recipe:

Moroccan Chicken Casserole

Adapted from BBC Food

Preparation Time: Overnight but can be cooked straight away

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients – serves approx. 4 to 6 people

For the Spice Paste
4 large Garlic Cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
½ teaspoon Ground Turmeric
Olive Oil, enough to make a paste

For the Casserole
1 Whole Chicken, cut into pieces
Few tablespoons Olive Oil
2 medium Onions, peeled and roughly chopped
½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder (optional)
1 Lemon or Lime, thinly sliced
Pinch of Saffron Strands (optional)
Water, as needed
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Handful Green Olives, pitted
Handful Fresh Coriander, chopped


First, make the spice paste. Take a pestle and mortar or a food processor.
Crush the garlic and salt together.
Add the cumin seeds, smoked paprika and turmeric. Grind to a paste.

Pour in just enough olive oil to make a runny paste. It should be runny but thick enough to coat the chicken.

Mix the spice paste and chicken pieces together. Cover and marinade for a few hours or overnight, if possible.

To cook the casserole, heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan over a medium heat.
Add the chopped onions, and cook until soft and lightly golden.

Add the chicken and red chilli powder and cook until lightly coloured.

Put in the lemon or lime, and pour in water to half cover the chicken. Add the saffron, if using.
Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, and then cover. Simmer on the lowest heat for 25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Finally, add the green olives and fresh coriander. Stir in, and serve with boiled rice and salad.

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:

Keep me in your duas, please,


Spice Enthusiast
© copyrights This Muslim Girl Bakes, All Rights Reserved. Branding & Blog Design by Sadaf F K.