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Chicken with Sweet Tomato Sauce-Moroccan Style

Like so many other foodies who cook, I collect cookbooks to get inspiration from and just find good stuff to make. Recently, I revisited a huge set of cookbooks I have. They’re literally huge, I think they’re about 18″ high and 12″ wide. The books are a series called “The Beautiful Cookbook.” This one is Joyce Goldstein’s Mediterranean, The Beautiful Cookbook-Authentic Recipes From the The Mediterranean Lands.

This encompasses cuisines from Spain and France to North Africa and Turkey. The recipes are easy and interesting and the books include a bit of history from every area covered. I tried this recipe because I love anything with tomatoes and this one has interesting additions like saffron and cinnamon. I halved the amount originally called for with the cinnamon and honey. Since we don’t usually use these spices in combo-I was afraid it would be overpowering. I was right. The amounts posted below are just the right touch, I think.

It’s a stew, but light enough for this time of year. I served it with a bit of brown rice, but it would go equally as well with cous-cous or even sweet potatoes.

Don’t get excited-I didn’t have any starch with it, everyone else did. Thought you’d catch me eating carbs for dinner, didn’t you?

Oh-the dish is even better the next day!

Chicken with Sweet Tomato Sauce
(Djej Matisha Mesla)

1 tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp saffron threads, crushed
½ tsp ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ C olive oil
2 chickens, about 3 lbs ea, quartered
2 onions, grated
2C water
5-6lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
½ tbsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp dark honey
¼ C sesame seeds, toasted

In a small bowl, stir together the pepper, saffron, ginger, garlic and oil. Place the chicken quarters in a large Pyrex dish and rub the mixture on them to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hour and if possible, overnight.

In a large, wide pan, combine the chicken and marinade, onions, and the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ½ tbsp. cinnamon and little salt. Simmer the chicken, turning it every so often in the sauce, until tender, about 30 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside.

Reduce the sauce over high heat, stirring often to prevent scorching. When the sauce is thick and the oil starts to rise to the top, add the honey and cook a few minutes longer. Return the chicken to the sauce and reheat.

Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

2 Responses to “Chicken with Sweet Tomato Sauce-Moroccan Style”

  1. Saffron and ginger… oh my, that sound like a great combo. I can’t wait to try this one.