By Carol Rood
My garden as been growing like crazy this summer. I am not sure if my thumb got greener over the winter, or I have just learned enough about gardening to be more successful, or it is just magic. I did do some things differently this year: I made the garden bigger, I paid more attention to the last frost and planted 4 weeks after the last one, I used organic compost, and Karol built me a garden “box” complete with chicken wire to keep out critters.
And by critters I mean my dog Bailey. He had this bad habit of running through the garden and breaking plants and herbs, so this year Karol was innovative and the plants are Bailey proofed.
So the garden has been flourishing and I have been up to my ears in tomatoes and peppers in particular. I wanted to find a way to use these veggies in a different and new recipe and I also had some potatoes in the pantry on the verge of getting soft that I wanted to incorporate into the dish, so I went and talked to my friend Google to see what I could find.
And I scored! Google always has great ideas. We have become very good friends over the years. I found a very interesting recipe using potatoes, peppers and tomatoes. Sold! It was called Moroccan chicken with peppers and tomatoes. A usual, I looked it over, and modified it some to make it my own, and this is the result:
Moroccan Chicken with potatoes, peppers and tomatoes
4 boneless chicken breasts
3-4 baking (russet) potatoes, peeled and cubed
2-3 large fresh tomatoes, diced (or 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes)
3-5 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2-1 bell pepper, diced (use whatever color you choose)
1/4 cup olive oil
parsley (1/4 cup fresh or 2 tbs. dried)
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp cumin
a few pinches of saffron, if you’ve got it
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat oil and saute onion and garlic. Add chicken, tomatoes, bell pepper, parsley, paprika, saffron, and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook about 20-25 minutes (until chicken is thoroughly cooked and just beginning to shred when handled much), stirring occasionally.
Add water as necessary to keep mixture wet and saucy (this really depends on your idea of “saucy”. Add enough to keep it as saucy as you want it.) Add potatoes, and carrots cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are completely cooked. (I like my carrots a little crunchy, so I added them a bit after the potatoes).
If you want to eat in authentic Moroccan style, dish onto a large plate and serve with lots of bread (something crusty like French works well). The bread is a great way to sop up the sauce, and it is delicious so you want every drop.
**The original recipe also called for peas, which would have added a nice burst of color and flavor, but I felt there was enough starch with the potatoes, so I omitted them.
** You could serve this over rice or pasta to soak up some of the sauce, but I did not as I didn’t want to add more carbs.
So there you have it, Moroccan Chicken with Tomato, Potatoes and Peppers. It was a hearty and delicious meal. Even the kids liked it and have asked for me to make it again. That my friends is high praise!
Photo Credit: Cristian Bortes