In preparation for yet another major snowstorm, the Accidental Locavore bought a bunch of boneless chicken thighs, not knowing exactly what I would do with them. Rather than doing my usual Indian chicken dish, I cruised through some recent recipes I’d saved. This one was from Epicurious.com and had the advantage of being pretty quick to prepare.
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro for garnish
- Salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 cinnamon stick, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 teaspoons lemon zest-mixed use (about 2 lemons)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice-mixed use
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ bag of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Decrease the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining broth, 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste — you may want to add another squeeze of lemon juice or pinch of salt. Garnish with the mint or cilantro. Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: I served this over a bed of couscous and it was really good. However, the leftovers the next day were even better! This recipe doesn’t call for cutting up the chicken thighs, but I might quarter them, just so they’re not such big hunks. You could substitute saffron for the turmeric and give this a more Moroccan twist. I made it again for dinner guests, this time in a slow cooker. I cut up the chicken and browned it. Then followed the recipe through deglazing the pan. Everything except the artichoke hearts went in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours. I added the artichoke hearts about a half hour before serving. It was almost as good, but lacked the freshness of the original. Either way, this is a good one to try.