This is one of my favorite chicken dishes of all time. Moroccan spiced olive chicken, is savory-sweet and crispy with the occasional saltiness of the of the olives hit's every one of my flavor senses. But wait, there's more! Top it over this couscous salad that captures the fruity flavors of the region with a fresh twist, and oh my! I hope you take the time to make this meal for dinner with family and friends, or even as a treat to yourself. It serves up beautifully and takes under an hour to prepare. This serves 3-4 people, or 2 people generously.
Moroccan Olive Chicken
4 Chicken Thighs, bone-in, skin on
1 1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds (Sub: ground cumin)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp minced ginger (Sub: ginger paste, or ground ginger)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice, from 1 to 2 lemons
1 lemon, sliced in thin circle slices
5 medium cloves garlic, sliced in halves
Salt and ground black pepper
1 cup green olives, pitted and halved
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley leaves
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine spices in small bowl and set aside – ginger, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon.
Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Be sure to rub underneath the skin, gently without detaching the skin from the chicken. Rub both sides of the chicken generously with the spice mixture.
Place chicken skin-side down in a cool cast iron (or heavy oven-proof) skillet. Turn heat to medium-high and Brown chicken pieces until deep golden, about 4 minutes. Turn chicken to brown on other side, about 3 minutes more.
Remove skillet from heat and tuck garlic and lemon pieces underneath each piece of chicken. Place in your oven on the center rack, and roast for 10 minutes.
Remove chicken from the oven, drop in olives and pour lemon juice over chicken. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until browned and juices run clear.
Add chicken to serving dish. Pour pan juices, lemons, garlic, and olives over chicken. Serve immediately.
1 cup of couscous, uncooked
1 cup of water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls of arugula (1/2 of a 1lb bag), coarsely chopped
2 handfuls finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried dates, chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
½ cup almonds, slivered or slightly crushed
Top with chopped green onion (optional)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS honey
1 clove of garlic, minced finely
Juice from ½ of a lemon
Salt/pepper (pinch) to taste
Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Bring one cup of water to a boil. Add couscous, oil, salt, dates, apricots, red bell pepper. Stir and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Open lid and fluff with a fork. Leave uncovered to cool.
Put the cool couscous in a large mixing bowl and add the parsley and arugula.
Pour in ¾ of the dressing and toss everything together.
Transfer the salad to a serving dish and pour over the remaining dressing. Top with almond slivers and serve immediately.