Moroccan-inspired chicken and vegetable tajine

I love cooking. Separate ingredients all coming together to create something magnificent is nothing less than magical. To me, cooking is a meditative practice that relaxes and centers me.

I may have not been raised with the notion that food is love, but that notion still came to exist within me. Good food makes me happy, whether I’ve made it myself or someone else has, but what makes me even happier is when the food I prepare makes people happy and lifts up their spirits.

Lately, I’ve even started infusing my dishes and baked goods with my own brand of Reiki/magical vibes. I’ve even made some eggless raw cookie dough and bewitched it (or at least tried) so that the fat only goes to my boobs designated areas, but that’s a story for another time 😉

This chicken tajine that I made earlier today wasn’t infused with any specific energies, but from the reactions I got, I like to think it brought joy to the people who enjoyed it. It is filled with seven delicious veggies and Moroccan-inspired ingredients (such as the lemon, olives, and apricots) that all come together in a truly magical, warming concoction. I’ve been asked for the recipe several times this evening, but I wasn’t following a specific one: I was just using what I had on hand and improvising with basic cooking skills (searing, sautéing, braising).

I wrote the recipe nonetheless (I had taken pictures throughout my cooking process) so I hope you’ll be inspired to make it for your loved ones!

Ingredients:

8 skin-on chicken thighs (with bones)

1 bag (approx. 2 cups) Brussels sprouts, halved

1 eggplant, cubed

5 carrots, chopped

1 onion, sliced

1 zucchini, cubed

2 red bell peppers, cut in chunks

2-3 tomatoes, cut in chunks

1 can (about 1 cup) pitted green olives, with the olive water

1/2 cup dried apricots

1 lemon, cut in slices

Olive oil (4 tablespoons)

Salt

Pepper

Powdered chicken stock

Spices: curry powder, cayenne pepper (optional if you like the heat), cumin, turmeric, paprika

  1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil on high heat In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven.
  2. Pat-dry the chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Sear the chicken thighs on both sides until they’re golden and have rendered most of their fat.
  4. Remove the chicken thighs and set aside, keeping the rendered fat in the pan.
  5. Sauté Brussels sprouts in rendered chicken fat. Once they begin to brown, add in the eggplant and carrots. Stir until carrots are golden but still crunchy. Eggplants and Brussels sprouts should be tender. Remove the veggies and set them aside.
  6. Add more oil to the pan. Sauté the sliced onion on medium-high, stirring. When it begins to take colour, add in the zucchini and the bell pepper. Keep stirring until veggies are softer.
  7. Add the tomatoes, pitted olives (with the olive water), and dried apricots. Add your reserved Brussels sprouts, eggplant and carrots, and stir carefully.
  8. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, powdered chicken stock, and the spices of your choice.
  9. Nestle the chicken thighs between layers of vegetables, making sure they’re completely covered.
  10. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat for up to an hour, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with your choice of healthy carb (brown rice, barley, couscous, or quinoa).

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