This one requires some explanation. I have this Dutch Oven cookbook that I like a lot and this recipe title caught my eye, Moroccan Chicken and Pastina Bake. The picture above is from the second time I made this dish (I trashed all of the pics from the first time because they did not look yummy enough).
I hate to say it, but the first time I made it, it was bland and tasteless. And, I always follow the instructions explicitly when it’s a new recipe so you know I’m speaking the truth here. However, when necessary, I will take artistic license on future attempts of a recipe.
Trust me. It was necessary.
I thought it was weird that I wasn’t instructed to brown the chicken first (so, essentially boiled chicken. yuck.) So, on my second attempt, I used a Tweaked Out version of a Bob Greene pork rub to give it some pizzazz. For the original rub, click here.
My family agreed that my zipped up version of this Morrocan dish was waaaayy better than the original. The recipe below is what I’ll be going with from now on.
Moroccan Chicken with a Bob Greene Kick / The Dutch Oven Cookbook
Cook & Prep Time: 90 minutes (30 minutes prep / 60 minutes cooking)
You will need:
- a 7-qt Le Creuset stock pot
- 1 small mixing bowl
- a garlic press (unless you want to mince your garlic)
- chef’s knife
- measuring utensils (dry and liquid)
Chicken & Rub:
10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 Tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 lb of cherry tomatoes, rinsed and stemmed
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt (and more to taste)
1 large red onion, diced
1 quart of chicken stock
1 lb of penne pasta
2 cinnamon sticks
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Prepare the chicken first. In a small bowl, mix the following ingredients: dark brown sugar, oregano, cinnamon, salt and unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix these well with a fork. Then, add the pressed garlic and olive oil. Use a fork to mix thoroughly until it is like a paste.
Place your chicken thighs on a cutting board. Dry them with a paper towel and then add the rub to the top of chicken thighs. Then, let the chicken marinate in the rub at room temperature for thirty minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, prepare everything else so you are ready to go. And, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat some olive oil in the stock pot to medium high. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides for about 2 minutes each. Place on a platter until all have been browned.
While the chicken is resting, add the tablespoon of olive oil to the stock pot. Add the cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover the stock pot and put in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
When the 15 minutes is up, pull the stock pot out of the oven, place on the stove and add the rest of the ingredients. Layer: pasta, chicken thighs, red onion, cinnamon sticks, orange zest, orange juice and chicken stock. Make sure there is enough liquid to just cover everything. (If you need to add a bit more stock, do it.)
Add a little more salt and pepper, put the lid back on the stock pot and put the pot back in the 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
The revised version of this dish was very tasty! Try it, you’ll like it.