If I had to choose an all-time favorite meal, I believe this one would be it.
My favorite meal as a child was a spaghetti sauce that my mom used to make in the crockpot. The main reason I liked it so much was that it had green olives in it. I have always loved olives, even as a little child. It surprised my parents that I would eat all their olives and ask for more and more. (Hmm, this is sounding familiar… can a love for olives pass from mom to child?)
I made this a few weeks ago, and the next day during a meditation class where I was supposed to be focusing on what we were doing I just kept smelling Moroccan chicken, tasting it, thinking about it… it was like someone had put a plate of it in my lap… I finally had to just push it away entirely in order to focus on the meditation. After class was over, when I got home, my lovely husband had warmed up the left overs and there was a plate of it, sitting ready for me on the table.
I love that man.
One aspect of this meal that makes it so special is that it contains a rainbow of veggies.
Red = tomatoes, Orange = carrots, Yellow = yellow bell pepper, Green = celery, zucchini and olives, Blue/Purple = currants. So if you have this with blueberry pie for dessert, you really do have the entire rainbow in one meal
And the lovely smell as it is ready to pull out of the oven… I can barely stand writing about it without getting to eat some!
This recipe has passed not only the husband and daughter test, but many, many friends and family members have enjoyed it as well. Everyone who has tried it has wanted the recipe, and it’s one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place, so here it is!
- 3 tablespoons high-heat oil like sunflower oil
- 1/2 a large onion, diced
- (3 finely diced cloves garlic optional)
- 1 package organic boneless/skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and sliced (Ok, I put in a full cup here, and it’s really good) – The green olives stuffed with Aji peppers that PCC is carrying now are perfect for this recipe.
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 1 cup fresh plum tomatoes, whole
- 1/2 cup currants
- 24 oz strained tomatoes, I like the Bionaturae brand
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Cutting board and knife
- Braising pan and spatula
- Plate for holding the chicken
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Heat the oil in the braising pan on medium heat.
- Once it is hot, add the diced onions and sauté them until they are becoming translucent. (At this point, add in the garlic if using.)
- Add the chicken thighs and half the salt. Brown the chicken on both sides (2-3 minutes a side), then remove the chicken and set it on a plate.
- Now add all the spices and veggies (including currants) and mix well.
- Add the tomato sauce and stir.
- Now add the chicken back in and also the chicken stock.
- Mix it all well, then put it in the oven for 1 hour.
- Once it’s finished cooking, let it sit for 5 minutes, then serve over spaghetti or rice.