Moroccan cuisine has long been considered as one of the most diversified cuisines in the world. The reason is because of the interaction of Morocco with the outside world for centuries. The cuisine of Morocco is a mix of Arab, Berber, Moorish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences. The cooks in the royal kitchens of Fez, Meknes, Marrakech, Rabat and Tetouan refined Moroccan cuisine over the centuries and created the basis for what is known as Moroccan cuisine today. Source: Wikipedia
This recipe is taken from the recipe book called Easy Beans, and I’ve made a few substitutions to suit us. I used dried chick peas not canned, I’ve given measurements for both. If you choose to use dried beans (benefit is a lot more nutrients, richer taste, crisper texture, and you get to control the salt content) you do have to plan ahead a day or two before you want to make this recipe.
Sort, rinse and soak
Sort beans by spreading them out on a clean kitchen towel or shallow baking pan. Discard any shriveled or broken beans along with stones or debris and rinse in cold water.
To soak beans, add 3 to 4 cups of water for every cup of beans or bring the water level in the pot to 2 or 3 inches above the beans. (In extremely warm weather, soak the beans in the refrigerator to avoid fermentation.) Then use one of these two methods: quick soak them by bringing to a boil and boiling briskly for 2 to 3 minutes, then cover and set aside for 4 hours; or, long soak the beans at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. The quick soak method can remove up to 80% of the indigestible sugars that cause flatulence. The long soak method does not remove as much of the indigestible sugars but the beans retain their shape better. Do not add salt to the soaking water and always discard the soaking water before cooking.
Regardless of which soaking method you used, drain and discard the soaking water. Add fresh water or broth to a level about 2″ higher than the beans. Bring to a boil slowly, skimming off any foam that may appear on the surface. When the liquid is at full boil, reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. The beans are done when they can be easily mashed with a fork or easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Source: Whole Foods Market
For chick peas that is about 1 hour 20 minutes approximately.
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 boneless, skinless organic or free-range chicken breasts, cut in 1/2
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) chopped tomatoes
OR 2 large fresh tomatoes chopped and 1/2 small can tomato paste
1 medium zucchini sliced and chopped (I didn’t have one so I used green pepper instead)
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin (more if desired)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Bragg’s liquid aminos to taste
1 cup canned or dried/cooked chick peas (if using canned, drain and rinse them first)
2 Tbsp raisins (optional)
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice or couscous
In a skillet heat oil and brown chicken on both sides. Remove from pan. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. Return chicken to pan and simmer, covered in tomato mixture until chicken is no longer pink in the middle (20-30 minutes). Stir in zucchini or whatever vegetable you are using, add oregano and spices. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes or until veggies are tender. Add chick peas and raisins, heat through. Serve over rice or couscous.
Optional: if you like it spicier, feel free to add your favorite hot sauce to the pot or your own bowl.
Chick peas – nutritional value
Chickpeas are a helpful source of zinc, folate and protein. They are also very high in dietary fiber and hence a healthy food, especially as a source of carbohydrates for persons with insulin sensitivity or diabetes. Chickpeas are low in fat and most of it is polyunsaturated.
One hundred grams of mature boiled chickpeas contains 164 calories, 2.6 grams of fat (of which only 0.27 grams is saturated), 7.6 grams of dietary fiber and 8.9 grams of protein.
Chickpeas are also a good source of calcium (49-53 mg/100 g). Some sources cite the garbonzo as equal to yogurt and close to milk. Source: Wikipedia
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Moroccan Chicken Recipe Photo Credit: Her View Photography