North African Roast Chicken Thighs with Raisins, Almonds, and Apricots

North African Roast Chicken Thighs with Raisins, Almonds, and Apricots

In this dish we see a commonly used technique for cooking with spices, which is to add them at the saute stage and sweat them to bring out their flavors. Serves 4 to 6 as entree

12 skinless chicken thighs (bones in)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 small to medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh red or green chile pepper of your choice

Heat the oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking; add the chicken thighs and cook, moving around every couple of minutes, until well browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add the onion slices to the saute pan and saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 1 additional minute. Add the sweet potatoes, ginger, spices, and salt and cook, still stirring frequently, for 1 more minute. Add the stock, reserved chicken thighs, and all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Cover the saute pan, put it in the preheated oven, and cook until the chicken thighs are tender and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

From: Big Flavors of the Hot Sun by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
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