Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Recipe: Moroccan Chicken Stew with Lentils and Spinach

I adapted this recipe from a cookbook called Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass. This stew is made in a pressure cooker, but could also be made in a crockpot or slow cooker. The cooking times will of course be very different. It is a high protein recipe, flavorful and low calorie. Before I even finished this I knew it would be fantastic, and I was right. To add some carbs to your meal, you could serve this stew with your favorite rice or other grain like quinoa. The recipe is pretty large, so since there are only two of us in my house we got to put the leftovers in the fridge for Erin to eat later this week when I'm out of town.

Moroccan Chicken Stew with Lentils and Spinach
Special tools: Pressure Cooker

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds (I substituted a mix of whole allspice seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
2 lbs chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed of fat (any skinned chicken will work, dark meat stays more moist)
3 1/2 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (I used 1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin because I used whole allspice)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup of raisins (I used dried currants and they were fantastic)
2 or 3 large carrots, whole peeled
1 large bag of spinach
1 tablespoon of finely minced ginger
salt to taste

Heat olive oil in the cooker and saute the onion until lightly browned. Add in the whole seeds and saute for 10-30 seconds. Lower the heat to give yourself some time and add in the water, lentils, chicken, allspice, cinnamon and raisins. Stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and then set the carrots on top.
Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 9 minutes. Reduce the pressure with a quick-release method. Remove the lid, making sure to tilt it away from you so the steam can escape safely.
Cut up the carrots with a knife, and stir in the spinach and ginger. If you stir the spinach in while the stew is still hot, it should cook as you stir. If not, bring the stew back to a simmer to finish the cooking process. Add salt to taste.

1 comment:

  1. This is my favorite Lorna Sass recipe. I have been using sweet potatoes instead of carrots, and dried cranberries in place of the raisins. The first time I made it I was tempted to use chicken broth instead of water, fearing it would be too bland, but I stuck to using water. I am glad I did. It is perfect the way it is. Even my 8 month old loves it.