Moroccan Baked Chicken

I made this recipe last weekend – dreamt up whilst scouring the supermarket for some inspiration, already clutching a pack of chicken thighs!  I often walk around the supermarket trying to decide what I’m craving the most – this time it was butternut squash (what a surprise) and warming and filling oven baked dish that would also give me enough leftovers for some work lunches (I’ve had it twice this week).  Don’t be put off the huge list of ingredients (that does put me off sometimes) as it’s mainly spices. This is really very simple to do.  I had a proud moment when my housemate wandered into the flat whilst I was cooking proclaiming that it smelt like Christmas – that’s a warming scent if ever there was one!  The cinnamon by the way….

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Spices:  – 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ras el hanut (moroccan spice blend), ½ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • 6 free range skinless chicken thighs (mine on the bone)
  • 1 400ml can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (low salt and gluten free)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato purée
  • 2 garlic cloves
  •  2 courgettes, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 buttnernut squash, chopped into small chunks
  • sundried tomatoes
  • flaked almonds to top
  • fresh coriander to top (I just didn’t have any)

 Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.  (Note to self, remember to actually turn the oven on, not just the fan.. d’oh!)
  • Make a paste from all of the spices, seasoning, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Spread all over the chicken thighs and leave to marinate for as long as you can wait.
  • Meanwhile saute the diced garlic in a little olive oil, then add the tomato purée, tin of chopped tomatoes, 2-300mls of boiling water, and a crumbled stock cube.  Bring to the boil.
  • Place the chicken thighs in a huge oven dish, and place the chunks of buttnernut squash and courgettes around the thighs.
  • Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken and veg, scatter in some sundried tomatoes, and place in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until the butternut squash is of suitable softness.
  • When ready scatter with flaked almonds, fresh coriander and another light drizzle of olive oil,

Serve with green salad, and a blob of Tahini (naturally…. it’s me, there HAS to be tahini somewhere, and anyway it is used in Moroccan cooking isn’t it?  Therefore totally allowed…).

leftovers can be boxed up in tupperware and stashed in the freezer for future consumption.

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