There’s something so comforting about a bowl of hot steaming rice, particularly when it’s combined with succulent Moroccan spiced chicken and juicy apricots!
More often than not, you need to cook dishes like this one in a slow cooker (and you certainly could if you had the time). But, this meal was ready in about 20 minutes, so a great little dish to make when you’re time challenged.
I found the recipe for the Moroccan Rice on BBC Good Food.com, as well as a separate recipe for the Moroccan Spice Blend which came in handy as I didn’t have any Moroccan spice on hand. And wow, I’m in love with the spice blend – it’s deeply aromatic and absolutely makes the rice dish come alive. In fact I added two tablespoons of the spice rather than the one tablespoon suggested. I felt it was needed as I found the dish just a tad bland in terms of seasoning. I also recommend you use chicken thighs rather than chicken breast, as the meat is more tender.
I’ll definitely be making this dish again, given how quickly it’s prepared. Besides which, I’ve got a nice little jar of delicious Moroccan spice that needs using! Enjoy!
- 4 skinless chicken breasts (or thighs, for a softer meat), diced
- 1 tbsp (or more according to taste) Moroccan spice seasoning (or make your own - recipe below)
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 50g (1.7 oz) butter
- 300g (10.5 oz) rice (I used basmati)
- 12 dried apricots, halved or quartered, depending on size
- Chicken stock cube and 700ml (24.6 fl oz) boiling water (or use 700ml liquid chicken stock)
- 410g (14.4 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 15g (0.5 oz) flatleaf parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Coat chicken with the Moroccan spice (I suggest you do this ahead of time to ensure as much flavour as possible, and store in the fridge).
- Fry the onion in butter until soft and translucent.
- Add the chicken, then cook for a few mins more. Stir in the rice and apricots, then pour in the stock cube with 700ml boiling water (or the liquid stock) and the chickpeas.
- Cover the pan and simmer for 10 mins until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid. Toss in the chopped flat leaf parsley and serve.
- Blend all the ingredients together and store in a small jar in a cool place.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Combination of natural lighting and continuous fluorescent lighting softbox