There’s a really long story about how this recipe came about, and way back at the beginning it started as my version of a chicken tikka masala, which it is nothing like now, so if that’s what you’re looking for, this ain’t it. But I digress…. Truth be told, this is more of an Indian-spiced recipe than a Moroccan one, but because this became known in my house as my “Moroccan chicken” I decided to roll with it. To be fair though, many of the spices found in this recipe are found in both cuisines, so I guess this recipe just has a bit of a cultural identity crisis.
I absolutely love sweet potatoes in savory dishes rather than being coated with brown sugar. The addition of cinnamon balances out the smoky spices and heightens the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. This has LOTS of lean protein and LOTS of fiber, it’s easy to prepare (and there are a few things you can change up to make it easier), there’s not a lot of fat, AND if you want more of a soup, you can increase the amount of broth. Made more like a stew as it is here, it is delish served over rice or quinoa. (Also, I am sure if you like tomatoes, diced tomatoes would be a great addition to or in place of the tomato sauce. I, however, detest tomatoes, so I opt for the tomato sauce.)
Moroccan-Spiced Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
- 1 lb. Ground Chicken (I use the 99% lean) ~OR~ 1 lb. of Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless, diced
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- 1/4 cup (1 can) Tomato Sauce
- 1 can (or 1.25 cups) Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large Sweet Potato, diced into about 1/2-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup Peas (I used frozen)
- 1 cup Yellow Onions, diced
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 Tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 tsp Curry Powder
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Coriander
- 1 tsp Ground Pepper
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Salt to taste
Spray your soup pot with cooking spray to make clean-up easier. Also, we are not adding any oil, so cooking spray helps keep things from sticking. I used my 5-Qt pot, by the way. Brown the chicken with the onions. Once the chicken is browned, add in all other ingredients, EXCEPT sweet potatoes, stir and reduce heat to medium-low to medium. Bring to a simmer and cover, keeping the heat low enough that it doesn’t boil. Like all stews, the longer you allow this to simmer, the more the flavors develop. (Mine cooked for about an hour, tops.) Add the sweet potatoes during the final 20-30 minutes of cooking time. If you allow them to cook too long, they will get mushy and lose their shape. Definitely give them a taste before turning off the heat, just to be sure they are cooked through. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before serving!
So here’s all the shortcuts that make this recipe so awesome: 1) You can make it with diced chicken breast or ground chicken, which is a huge time-saver. 2) Rather than dicing onions, you can buy the frozen ones (yep… nearly all my other recipes for diced onions use this shortcut too). I use a lot of frozen veggies. If they are flash-frozen, and have do not have any additives, they are just as good for you as fresh. 3) If you add an extra cup or two of broth, you’ll have more of a soup. Don’t forget, you’ll need to adjust your spices if you do this. Don’t forget, you can always add more, but you can’t take them out, so add a little at a time and taste as you go along.
P.S. If you use canned or boxed stocks, read the labels. Store-bought stock is LOADED with
sodium, which, aside being bad for your heart, isn’t conducive when you are trying to slim down. Both of the stocks I’m showing are from Kroger. The one on the left is their Simple Truth Organic Low Sodium Free Range Chicken Broth, and on the right is their “Reduced Sodium” Chicken Broth (and to be honest, if this is the reduced version, I can only imagine how much sodium is in the regular version). 140mg vs. 570mg in ONE. CUP. While this is a great shortcut in lieu of making your own stock, to keep things as healthy as possibly, you need to read the labels. This is a rule I follow with other canned goods as well, such as beans and tomato sauce.