This was a staple in our family kitchen throughout our childhood and one of the first things that we mastered in the kitchen. It is super simple but has an exotic-tasting tomato sauce spiced with the characteristic Moroccan flavours of honey and cinnamon. Artwork by Sarah Dennis.
Moroccan Chicken with Sweetly Spiced Tomato Sauce
- 4 chicken thigh fillets, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for frying
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large brown onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 60 g (21/4 oz/1/4 cup) honey
- chopped coriander (cilantro), to serve
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 380 g (131/2 oz/2 cups) couscous
- 2 tablespoons butter
To make the Moroccan chicken, rub the chicken thighs with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside. Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan over medium–low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add the ground coriander, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne pepper and cook for a further 1–2 minutes, stirring well, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, stir well to combine, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the honey and simmer for a further 2 minutes, stirring to combine.
In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon extra oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2–3 minutes to brown the sides. Add the tomato mixture to the pan and simmer over low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 7 minutes.
To make the couscous, put the olive oil and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir in the couscous, then remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 3 minutes. Return the pan to the stovetop over low heat, add the butter and mix through with a fork, fluffing the couscous. Continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring to avoid burning. Remove from the heat and mix through the lemon zest and sesame seeds, if using.
Divide the chicken and plenty of sauce between serving plates with the couscous, and garnish with coriander.