Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Grilled Chicken Morocco with Vegetable Ragout

You can get tired of chicken. You can grill it, broil it, bake it, smother it. Plenty of ways to make it different. But you can get tired of it. That’s why it’s important to know what to do when you’re bored as hell with what you are doing to the old bird. That’s when you have to pull yourself together and find something different to do.

Moroccan flavors have become my go-to fix it for boredom with dinner. I admit it, I have gone nuts over the flavors from this area. What’s not to like? Ginger, cumin, smoked hot pimenton, turmeric, cayenne, mint, cilantro, lemon? There’s something in there that you like.

Make a marinade of these ingredients and plop some fat boneless chicken thighs in and let them think. Then, being the talented cook that you are, make a vegetable ragout of carrots, rutabagas, turnips, butternut squash and zucchini to serve on top of couscous and you have a meal that will please even the most jaded chicken eater around.

Grilled Chicken Morocco with Vegetable Ragout
Adapted from
Kitchen Conversations by Joyce Goldstein


2 tbsp smoked pimenton
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1-½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Several good grindings of black pepper
3 fat garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Several good swirls extra virgin olive oil
6 fat boneless chicken thighs
Chopped fresh mint
Chopped fresh cilantro
Vegetable Ragout (see below)

Combine spices, garlic and lemon juice and make a paste. Add the olive oil and rub all over the chicken thighs. Cover and refrigerate while you get the grill going. These can marinate overnight if you are organized.

Grill about 5-7 minutes per side depending on how thick your chicken thighs are.

Vegetable Ragout

A couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 fat garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp smoked pimenton
Good pinch coarsely ground black pepper
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 14 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch lengths
1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 large turnip, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks
3 small zucchini, cut into two inch lengths
½ cup raisins, plumped in hot water
Chopped parsley, cilantro and mint

Swirl the oil in bottom of large Dutch oven and cook onion over moderate heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and spices and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots, rutabaga, turnip and butternut squash and pour enough water in to cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add zucchini, garbanzo and raisins and simmer 15 minutes longer or til vegetables test done.

Serve with couscous as a vegetarian main dish for something different.

Serves 3-4.



Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

That looks like a really great recipe! Right now I'm really bored of chicken because I have had it so much. I really gotta try this recipe : )

Anonymous said...


I can eat chicken almost every day without getting tired of it, but that dish looks spectacular. I like to make Chicken Marbella from the Silver Palate Cookbook. A friend gave me the cookbook for a Christmas present and that was the recipe that it opened too, the first time I used the book.


Mary Coleman said...

Jessy: This is so easy, do try it!
Democommie: My catering company must have served Chicken Marbella more times than I care to count, but it is one of my all time favorite recipes.
Thanks for reminding me of it.
I may have to blog about it one day.