For months, I’ve been working on a cookbook called SMILE, LAUGH, SING: THE CHURCH CHOIR DIRECTOR’S COOKBOOK and, needless to say, it’s not done yet. When will it be done? I don’t know. Between teaching piano, cooking for friends, walking my golden retrievers (Fiona, 11 and Gabby, 10 months), caring for my husband, starting graduate school at age 55, and getting ready for my youngest child’s college graduation, the time is minimal. I do work on it periodically. It has grown into what may, in the end, be two cookbooks. One for quick, easy delicious meals (Hence my blog TIME TO EAT: SPENDING MORE TIME AT THE TABLE THAN IN THE KITCHEN) and one for the more complicated dishes not everyone has time for. Meantime, my friends (who receive current testing recipes, notes, etc.) have encouraged me to begin blogging the recipes I’ve finished testing and finally make them available to more people. So here goes!
MOROCCAN CHICKEN–DONE FAST!
It’s spring–you want to walk, garden, drink porch wine… so: I’ve been working on a Moroccan chicken recipe that comes together in 30 min or under and is bigtime easy to fix with simple ingredients. This is it; it ‘s delicious, healthy, cheap and easy. You could easily double it for company. First, a few ideas and options…
OPTION TO GRILL: If it’s a great day, grill the chicken and do the rest in the skillet. Or, try it all on the grill, minus the canned tomatoes, broth and chickpeas. Add fresh tomatoes,chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil at the table; skip the broth.
Wine: We had a lovely, inexpensive (white) Spanish albarino that worked like a charm. If you spice or heat up the chicken more, you could use a riesling of the sort you like best.
Dessert: Make the most of rhubarb in a flash. No baking here! Stew some on the stove with water and sugar to taste until tender; add a few sliced strawberries and stir until slightly wilted. Serve over frozen vanilla yogurt. Or layer the stewed fruit, frozen yogurt and chunks of store-bought angelfood cake in large wine glasses. Drizzle lightly with honey.
Leftover couscous: If you have leftover couscous, grill or saute some veggies the next night and put them on top; grace with some feta. Or, since it has raisins and nuts, warm it up and top it with cinnamon, honey and milk for breakfast.
HAPPY SPRING! It’s 50 and sunny on the mesa this morning in Colorado. I could see for ten miles when I walked Gabby and Fiona.
By the way, Gabby’s just recovering from a stint in the ICU over the weekend. She ate tea. Yes, on purpose; golden retrievers don’t know you’re supposed to BREW tea. Black, PG tips. I hated to see it gone! She’s been on a beta blocker to decrease her 200 bpm heart rate and hooked up to ekgs and ivs. A little subdued after the experiment. (This is why people say chocolate is poison to dogs–caffeine.) Dave and I will be skipping vacation this year, but the vet is going to Europe.
Next up in the blog is Ribollita from heaven; start drooling and watch this space!
Here’s the recipe for the chicken:
Alyce’s Moroccan Chicken w/ Couscous
Serve with grilled pita bread
Couscous: Make plain couscous, adding ¼ c raisins and1/4 c toasted walnuts, according to box directions. Cover and hold while you prepare the chicken. Season w/ salt and pepper before serving.
1 – 11/2 # boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash*
1 can chickpeas
1 can salt-free chopped tomatoes
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
¼ t cayenne (or more to taste)
½ t cinnamon
2 lemons, cut into eighths
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
Saute chicken in 1 T olive oil for 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Add onions, garlic and squash. Cook 3 minutes until veggies are wilted. Add chickpeas, tomatoes and chicken broth. Season with cayenne, cumin and cinnamon. Add lemons. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat ; simmer about 10 minutes until chicken and veggies are done and tender. Season with salt and pepper.
To large shallow bowls, spoon couscous to one side and ladle chicken mixture to the other side. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Serve with grilled pita bread.
*Option: Use peeled eggplant, cut into 1” dice.