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RAVE REVIEW! Moroccan Chicken Stew

Posted 11-07-2011 at 09:07 AM by medic2midwife
Updated 11-07-2011 at 09:15 AM by medic2midwife

This recipe It was easy, it was cheap and it offered a taste unlike anything else. It was fancy without the pomp and fuss and it was soooo darned good!!!!! So good in fact that I the first thing I'm doing as I wake this morning is to share it with you good people. I've had a healthy following with my blog and I'm thrilled to see that, I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we did! It was amazing!!!! A perfect choice if you're looking to get out of a dinner rut!

***You can make this vegetarian and/or vegan friendly by removing the chicken, increasing the garbonzo beans and replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock

Hillbilly Housewife's Moroccan Chicken Stew

8 chicken thighs, skinned
1 Tb vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 ts turmeric
1/4 ts cinnamon
1/8 ts red pepper
4 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock (you may want to add a cube of bouillon for richer flavor)
1 16 oz can whole tomatoes, quartered with juice (if you like spicy food you can use the kind with peppers)
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
1/2 ts salt
1 19 oz can garbanzo beans, drained (average size can – my store’s aren’t 19 oz. You can also use homemade)
4 cups prepared couscous, hot
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)

Pour the oil into a stock pot (I use an 8-quart) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for until the onions start to soften (you want to watch it and make sure the garlic doesn’t burn).

Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon, red pepper, cloves, and bay leaves. Add chicken and chicken stock and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes.

Add tomatoes, garbanzo beans, green pepper, carrots and salt and cook until vegetables are tender. is what I did.

I used turkey stock that I made myself from boiling down a turkey carcass the other day. I got a small whole turkey for 3 bucks after my 4 dollar foster farms coupon, cooked it for about 3 hours then shred and bagged all the meat for other recipes. I tossed the carcass, the drippings and some water into a pot and let it boil for about an hour or two. This produced me a large pot full of turkey stock and I was really satsified with that because broth is expensive and when you get up to the 4 cup quantities like in this recipe, you'll see the dollar signs add up!

I did add the bullion, I had the powdered chicken bullion packets, I added 2.

I used two cans of tomatoes, just regular tomatoes. I had Muir Glen Fire Roasted Organic on hand from couponing (which have become my fav tomato ever, btw.)

I used only 1 can of garbonzo beans but you could increase it to 2, I don't think it would hurt at all.

I used half of a large bell pepper since there were no inbetween sizes at the store. If you want to leave this out, I think you could. But it was great with it and you only need one so its low cost!

The housewife recommends serving it with couscous which you can buy cheap in bulk. I however have had the same 4lb bag of organic quinoa on hand for the last 10 months. I got it at costco for about $7. I love quinoa because its the only whole grain that is also a complete protien, plus its low on the glycemic index so its good for diabetics and those trying to watch their weight and its naturally gluten free! Now, quinoa requires rinsing before cooking or it will have a funny taste.. I always do this, then instead of cooking it in water I cook it in vegetable broth, which I can make 4 cups with 2 knorrs bullion cubes.

I used 3 carrots, I had Earthbound Farms Organic on hand.. I buy a lot of my produce organic.. as much as possible... and it doesn't hurt my costs one bit. Often I find the organic produce is cheaper than the regular stuff. It doesn't make sense to me but I'm happy for it! I also like organic with things grown in the dirt because of the levels of pesticides I'm avoiding. But thats just me. I recommend farmers markets for your produce to get high quality and low cost if you don't garden.

Finally, I chose to de-skin and de-bone my chicken, rather than buying the bag where it had already been done for me. This added roughly 10 minutes to my prep time but saved me 2 bucks and half a pound! I used a full 2.5 lb bag of chicken since I was cooking for more people than usual. You can easily scale this recipe back by half and still have left overs. But I recommend making it in bulk, you can freeze what's left if you don't eat it all first!

So thats that for the ingredients. I cooked this a little differently. Basically I was in a rush and didn't think I'd have time to let it sit in the crock pot all day and simmer. First, yes this can all go in the crock pot from the start... second... the time depends on how well you want your chicken cooked.... and third, if I had only remembered the fall back time change I would have skipped this step.
I cooked everything as the recipe states, then at the end I dumped it all into the crock pot, put it on high and let it go for the next 5 hours. I chose to shred my chicken when it was half way through, but you don't have to at all! I used sea salt instead of regular salt and found the flavors to be a wonderful balance. Nothing was too overwhelming, too salty, too sweet or too spicy. This is NOT a spicy dish, but increase that red pepper and it can be!!!

I made 2 cups of quinoa and used 2.5 lbs of chicken. This was enough to serve 3 adults and 5 children seconds then I still had half a pot to save for lunch the next day or even another dinner if you wanted to double batch it!

Here is my cost break down:

Spices- pennies over time. (I had all of the spices on hand, I'm a bit of a spice hoarder like that)
Oil- pennies over time
Broth- pennies because I made it myself and/or used bullion
Quinoa- pennies over time
Carrots and Bell Pepper- roughly $1.50
Garbonzo Beans- .59
Canned tomatoes- free with coupon from stockpile
2.5 bag of frozen chicken thighs- 2.50 (which I de-skined and de-boned myself or else it would have been $5+ for a 2lb bag)
* I did not use the rasins or the almonds due to personal taste preferences.

My total cost was 4.59 for 10+ servings. Which equals roughly .45 a serving. Even if you have to buy Quinoa or Couscous you're only adding a few more dollars to the top of that. Spices can be purchased in bulk and don't cost much more either. I can't see this meal topping 2.00 a serving.
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