Nothing is more boring than eating the same thing over and over. Most of us are too busy to think of new things, and don’t really have the time to make elaborate dishes. However with a multi-cooker or slow cooker, it is often easy to serve something new with little effort as well as minimum mess. With a quick visit to a Middle Eastern grocery store or online to pick up pomegranate molasses and preserved lemons (both can also be made at home if you have a bit of extra time and patience), the following Moroccan Chicken Pilaf can be put together in a minimum amount of time with delicious results. The flavors in this dish aren’t totally Moroccan; much has been borrowed from Persian cuisine.
This yummy dish is very exotic; it will make your house smell amazing, and you may just feel like belly dancing. Chicken breast pieces are browned, then basmati rice and vegetables are also browned; everything is mixed with spices and slow-cooked. Multi-cookers cook faster than conventional slow cookers, so this dish can be ready to serve in just a few hours, which makes it easy on the cook and perfect for entertaining.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cleaned of any fat, veins, etc., and cut into 3" chunks
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups basmati rice
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 preserved lemon, rind only, chopped or peel of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup raisins, (you may substitute barberries if you like your food tart)
2 cups water
2 pinches saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts
- Heat the olive oil in the multi-cooker; add the chicken pieces and let brown.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and set aside.
- Melt the butter and add the rice and onions; stir until the onions are softened and the rice starts to brown.
- Stir in the preserved lemon rind, pomegranate molasses, cinnamon stick, salt, raisins, and saffron water; pour the 2 cups water over the rice and stir.
- Place the chicken pieces on top.
- Cover and cook 2-3 hours or until the rice is done. (If no multi-cooker is available, brown the chicken in a skillet; set chicken aside and brown the rice and onions in the same skillet. Transfer the rice mixture to the crock of a 3-5 quart slow cooker and proceed as above. Cover the slow cooker, set to high, and let cook 2-3 hours.)
- When ready to serve, stir in the chicken, sprinkle with the parsley and pine nuts, and serve with yogurt on the side.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 385 Calories from Fat 121
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 31% Protein 31% Carb. 37%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 84 mg
Sodium 390 mg
Total Carbohydrate 36 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 30 g
Vitamin A 6% Vitamin C 7% Calcium 0% Iron 16%