Chicken with tomato jam is one of the easiest dishes in Morocco but it's not very common. Its fame is limited to some regions and some posh restaurants.
|Initially, this dish is served with the tomato jam only. Adding the dried apricots in |
the sauce was a personal touch and it turned out amazing
The good thing about this dish is that you can make the tomato jam days ahead and even serve it as a spread or as a salad.
Do not be shocked by the word salad; in Morocco, just like in some other Mediterranean countries, we have two types of salads/entrée : raw and cooked.
I like to use nice plum tomatoes or any meaty tomato which will be peeled and deseeded. A slightly acid tomato is ok because it balances the sweetness of the jam.
Prep: 20 min - cooking: 45 min
The chicken stew
- 1 baby chicken (800 g to 1 kg), cleaned the Moroccan way (see here). You may cut the chicken in 2 to 4 pieces to fit the pot or keep it whole.
- 1 yellow medium-size onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp of chopped coriander and parsley (you may as well make a small bouquet of these herbs and add it to the sauce. Depending on the regions, the herbs are optional)
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- 1 tsp of ground ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp of groud white pepper (or a mix white and black)
- A pinch of saffron threads (toasted and crushed)
- 1 tbsp of oil
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 400 g of meaty tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 leveled tsp of cinnamon
- A couple of crushed mastic gum lumps (optional)
- 5 tbsp of fine sugar or clear honey
- 2 tsps of olive oil
- 1 tsp of orange blossom water (optional)
- Toasted sesame seeds
- A few leaves of coriander
In a enamel pot or a cooking Tagine, heat the oil. Add the chopped onion and cook for 2 min.
Add the chicken, the herbs and spices. Cover the chicken 2/3 of water and cover the pot.
Cook on medium-low heat for 40-50 min until the chicken is tender. Uncover and let it simmer until the liquid is fairly reduced.
Tomato jam (can be made ahead or while cooking the chicken stew)
Add 1 teaspoon of oil into a pan, add the cinnamon stick and the tomatoes. Simmer on medium heat. If the tomatoes need water add a couple of spoons.
Simmer for about 10 minutes while stirring. Add the sugar and the mastic gum, and stir for another 2 minutes. Add the cinnamon and stir for another 3 minutes or until the tomato jam has reduced to leave a thick paste. Add the left teaspoon of olive oil on top and cover.
This tomato jam can be served cold as a cooked salad or as a spread.
Assemling the chicken with tomato jam
Transfer the chicken stew to a serving dish. Place the tomato jam over the chicken pieces and sprinkle some sesame seeds.
Serve hot with Moroccan bread or a baguette.