Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Date" Night Chicken

I love a good pun, especially when it involves food. While "Date" Night Chicken would be great for a date, it more just stars the sweet flavor of Medjool dates that I love so much. Inspired by some boneless, skinless chicken thighs I snagged on sale, this is a mash-up of Braised Chicken with Dates and Moroccan Spices from Bon Appetit and Chicken, Date and Apricot Tagine from Cooking Light. I was afraid of losing some of the juiciness in the chicken by using boneless/skinless, but it was perfectly tender. A+ from the husband!

"Date" Night Chicken

1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 red onion or 1 large shallot, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 15-oz can chickpeas
8 pitted dates, sliced
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Fresh parsley, optional
Basmati rice for serving (or couscous!)

Combine the spices (through pepper) in a small bowl. Sprinkle over chicken thighs and rub all over. Heat oil in a medium dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid. Brown the chicken on both sides (about 4 minutes per side), then remove to a plate and tent with foil. Add onion and garlic to the pan and saute 3-4 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and whisk in tomato paste, then bring to a boil. Add chicken back to pan and chickpeas. Reduce heat and cover, cooking for 15 minutes. Stir in dates.

Place rice or couscous on your plate and top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley, if using. Enjoy!

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