If you're looking for a flavorful and easy dinner recipe, this easy chicken thighs on the dutch oven stove top recipe is effortlessly prepared in one pot and is sure to impress anyone at the dinner table.
Imagine the succulent chicken thighs, seasoned with aromatic spices inspired by Moroccan flavors, cooked to perfection in the Dutch oven.
Now, doesn't that sound amazing?
What Does Moroccan Food Taste Like?
If you've never had Moroccan food before, you're in for a treat.
It is a delightful fusion of aromatic spices with influences from North Africa and the Mediterranean.
The dishes usually have a harmonious balance of sweet and savory, using spices such as cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric.
These spices are often combined sweet elements such as dried fruits, honey, and even preserved lemons.
These additions infuse the dish with a subtle sweetness that complements the savory spices so well.
Tagine vs Dutch Oven
Traditional Moroccan cuisine often utilizes a distinctive cooking vessel known as a tagine. A tagine refers to both the clay pot and the slow-cooked stew-like dish that is prepared within it.
The tagine itself is a cone-shaped clay pot with a wide, shallow base and a conical lid. The design of the tagine allows for the condensation of steam, which then drips back into the dish, ensuring that the food remains moist and flavorful throughout the cooking process. The tagine is particularly well-suited for slow-cooking dishes and creating rich, flavorful stews.
On the other hand, the Dutch oven is a heavy and sturdy pot, typically made of cast iron or enameled cast iron. The Dutch oven's thick walls and tight-fitting lid help to trap heat and moisture, creating a moist and succulent finished dish. It can be used to prepare a variety of dishes from different cuisines, including soups, stews, roasts, and even bread.
If you are lucky and own a tagine (I'm jealous), feel free to use it in this recipe.
However, for most average home cooks, a dutch oven works great as a cooking vessel in this recipe.
If you prefer a different protein, you can substitute bone-in chicken thighs with boneless chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or even drumsticks. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure thorough cooking.
Feel free to adjust the spice quantities based on your personal taste preferences. You can increase or decrease the amounts of cumin, coriander, ginger, smoked paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper to suit your desired flavor profile.
While carrots and onions are traditionally used in this recipe, you can incorporate other vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or potatoes for added variety and nutritional value.
4. Vegetarian/Vegan Option:
Make this dish vegetarian or vegan-friendly by substituting the chicken with tofu, chickpeas, or a medley of vegetables. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Season the chicken thighs
add the diced carrots and onions
Add marinated chicken
Simmer with chicken broth, olives, and raisins
Serve with rice, couscous, quinoa
1. Marinate the chicken:
For an extra burst of flavor, marinate the chicken thighs in the spice mixture along with a drizzle of olive oil for a few hours or overnight before cooking. This step allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and enhances the overall taste.
2. Browning the chicken:
Prior to adding the other ingredients, sear the chicken thighs in the Dutch oven or a separate skillet to achieve a golden crust. This step adds depth of flavor and texture to the dish.
3. Adjusting the consistency:
If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the chicken thighs once cooked and simmer the remaining liquid on the stovetop until it reaches your desired consistency. Conversely, if you prefer a thinner sauce, add a bit more chicken broth or water during the cooking process.
4. Serving suggestions:
This dish pairs wonderfully with fluffy couscous, steamed rice, or crusty bread. Garnish with chopped cilantro, lemon wedges, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for added freshness and visual appeal.
Easy Moroccan Style Chicken Thighs
- 4-5 bone-in chicken thighs skin removed (820g)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup carrots diced
- ½ vidalia onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ cup pitted green olives
- ¼ cup of raisins or diced dried figs
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Season the chicken thighs with cumin, coriander, ginger, smoked paprika, turmeric, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Make sure the chicken is coated evenly with the spices. Let marinate in the fridge for 30 mins - 1 hour for the most flavor.
- Preheat your Dutch oven over medium heat. While it's heating, dice the carrots and onions.
- Once the Dutch oven is hot, add the diced carrots and onions. Sauté them for about 5 minutes or until they become slightly tender and caramelized.
- Add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- In the same Dutch oven with the carrots and onions, place the seasoned chicken thighs. Cook them for about 5 minutes or until the skin turns golden brown and crispy. Flip the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes on the other side.
- Pour in the chicken (or vegetable) broth and deglaze the bottom of the Dutch oven, scraping off any browned bits. This will add flavor to the sauce.
- Return the sautéed carrots and onions to the Dutch oven, placing them around the chicken thighs. Add the pitted green olives, raisins or dried figs. Make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Allow the chicken to simmer for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Turn the heat off and keep the lid on for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped cilantro into the sauce.
- Serve the Moroccan chicken thighs hot, spooning the flavorful sauce with carrots, onions, olives, and raisins/figs over the top. You can garnish with additional cilantro, if desired.
If Vidalia or sweet onions are not available, you can substitute them with white, red or other mild onion varieties. Chicken Broth: The chicken (or vegetable) broth not only adds moisture but also enhances the overall flavor of the dish. Use homemade broth or a good-quality store-bought one for the best results. Optional Ingredients: The addition of pitted green olives, raisins, or diced dried figs add to the savory and sweet flavors of the dish. Feel free to adjust the quantities based on your personal taste preferences. Garnish: The fresh cilantro and lemon zest add a burst of freshness and brightness to the dish. Sprinkle them over the chicken thighs and sauce just before serving to enhance the flavors. Serving Suggestions: Moroccan Chicken Thighs pair well with quinoa, couscous, rice, or crusty bread. You can also serve it with a side salad or steamed vegetables. Leftovers: This dish tastes even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld together. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
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Whether it's the tender chicken infused with the rich spices or the subtle sweetness, this easy Moroccan chicken thighs recipe an explosion of flavors that will make any beginner cook seem like a chef.
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