Moroccan Style Chicken and Root Vegetable Stew


This recipe from epicurious comes with many solid reviews. I offer it here as a theme, and there is lots of room for improvisation. If you are vegetarian, you can substitute chick peas for the chicken and veggie broth for the chicken broth. You can dig through your fridge and use different root vegetables. Potatoes, winter squash, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celeriac, even some cabbage, all would work great in this stew. Serve it up with couscous and some salad for a fine meal. Adapted from Bon Appetit January 1998, the recipe serves 6.

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (or chicken thighs or some leftover cooked chicken would work great!)

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled parsnips (or more turnips, carrots, potatoes)
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled turnips
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces peeled rutabaga (or potatoes)
2 cups canned chicken (or veggie) broth
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
1 cup drained diced tomatoes
Chopped fresh cilantro (or dried or frozen)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and sauté until light golden but not cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer chicken to bowl. (Skip this step if you are using leftover roast chicken from a previous meal.)

Add onion to pot and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add curry powder, cumin and cinnamon stick and stir 30 seconds. Add sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, broth and currants. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken with any accumulated juices to pot. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and flavors blend, about 5 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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