This classic Moroccan chicken dish features sweet spices like cinnamon and ginger, offset by garlic and paprika and combined with the mouth-puckering flavors of lemon and green olives.
Time 45 minutes| Serves 4
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 3 to 4 pounds leg-thigh pieces of chicken, cut in two, excess fat removed
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger
• 1 1-inch cinnamon stick, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 2 cups chicken stock or water
• 1 ½ cups green olives, drained and pitted
• Lemon juice to taste
• Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Put oil in deep skillet or casserole. Turn heat to medium-high and wait a minute, until oil is hot. Add chicken, skin-side down, and brown it well, rotating and turning pieces as necessary and sprinkling with salt and pepper as they cook; 10 to 15 minutes total. Turn heat to medium, remove chicken and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat.
2. Add onion, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cumin, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon or more of pepper and some salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until onion softens. Add stock and raise heat to medium-high; return chicken to pan, skin-side up. Cook at a lively simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Add olives and continue to cook until chicken is done, another 10 to 15 minutes or so. Add lemon juice, then taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish and serve.