Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bulk Cooking - Moroccan Chicken with Brown Rice

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Holy macaroons...this is a lot of food.

So I have this new meal planning organization system I'm working on.  I have about 45 meals that I have made up from my own recipe files, books, and off the top of my head.  So far I'm planning out dinners for an entire month.  It's all displayed on this calendar system I'll tell you about later.  About once a week, I cook a 'freezer worthy' recipe in mass volume.  Today's amount says call in the troops, chow is served!  I have my trusty food saver and I'm not afraid to use it.  Darn, that reminds me I'm out of food saver rolls.....Cabellas here I come.

This recipe is called Kerensa's Moraccan Chicken.  Kerensa is a good friend of mine and she 'tweaked' this recipe for book club and I've further 'tweaked' it for my own family.  It freezes great.  I made a huge pot of brown rice, which also freezes well, so next month if Moroccan Chicken is on the list of meals, I'll only have to defrost and heat.

Here is the recipe that serves about six:
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
salt & cayenne pepper to taste
1 1/3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger root, crushed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups canned, chopped tomatoes
2 cups canned chick peas, rinsed
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tbs honey
1 bay leaf

Whenever I'm working with a huge amount of raw chicken, I like to use gloves.  Maybe it's my super human smelling power but If I don't "use protection" I swear I can smell it on my hands for like days.  I prepare the area by pre-opening the trash can, laying a cloth beneath the cutting board to absorb run away raw chicken juice rivers and getting clorox bleach wipes for when I'm done.

In a shallow bowl, combine cinnamon, cumin and coriander, cayenne pepper and salt.  Dredge chicken in spices.  Don't be tempted to take a nibble.  This is not monkey bread people.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken; saute until browned.  If doing a double or quadruple recipe, be sure to saute the chicken in shifts.

Add onion to skillet; saute 3 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger and broth; saute 5 minutes.  As for the ginger, I like to buy a big root of it, cube it, and freeze it so it's always available to me.  Ginger freezes well.  If you're making a massive amount of this recipe, be sure to saute the onion in shifts, just like you did the chicken.

Add all remaining ingredients and the chicken.  Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  If you're cooking like I did, you'll probably want to simmer it for more like an hour since it takes a while to get it up to the right temperature.

You'll go through a lot of cans with this recipe.  Costco has huge cans of garbanzo beans, one of which has been sitting in my pantry as a book end for a while now and I was so excited today to finally use it!
This big ole daddy saved me from having 16 empty cans in my recycle bin.....instead I have nine.  I think I want to keep this guy though, he's been with me for so long.  Again, cue TLC's Hoarders.
My big pot is a canning pot that my husband bought for brewing beer.  A word to the wise? Make sure it fits in your sink!

As for the rice, I made a lot of soggy mush.  It'll work for tonight, but I'll have to adjust my quantities for next time.  Brown rice freezes so nicely.

 I used to buy it in the freezer section of Trader Joes just so I could have it on hand last minute if I needed.  Now I just double my batch and freeze it in ziplock baggies.  Heat it up in the microwave about two minutes for two cups and you're good to go.

If anyone ever tries this recipe with tofu, please let me know how it turns out!

Turned out loved it.

I found some skinny, annoying food saver bags and was able to fill them with a 1/4 cup measuring spoon, spilling down the edges of the bag, but over the pot.

My dehydrated tomatoes turned out okay.  I haven't used them in any recipes yet so I'll keep you posted.

They taste like concentrated ketchup.  I might market them to astronauts as space food.


  1. Sounds good! Thanks for the recipe, I have some chicken in the fridge I did not know what to do with!

  2. I'm drooling here at work thinking about it


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