Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different – and yummy – expressions of each culture through food.
Although the temperature is an astounding 87 degrees Fahrenheit today, we looked at the calendar and realized that September – and back to school time – is just around the corner. In our house, we get much busier between work and school and everything else, so the slow cooker is our good friend!
Chicken Marrakesh hails from (obviously) Morocco. It is a hearty, filling dish and super easy when prepared in the slow cooker. There are a number of online recipes for the slow cooker but don’t hesitate to experiment. For example, AllRecipes and food.com both have a terrific recipe which calls for garbanzo beans. We use red kidney beans, or, frankly, whatever we have in the cupboard. Quite by accident, we ended up using black beans, and the results were quite delicious!
We recently purchased a Ninja Cooking System, which is a slow cooker, stove top cooker and oven all in one. We can’t praise this device enough. You can brown, heat up, slow cook all in the same pot. Cuts down on storing appliances as well. We make all sorts of things in it – spaghetti sauce, soups, stews, ribs – even a cake! It has a steam feature which works really well for poaching fish.
We love sharing our family recipes with you but please remember you can search online and find lots of variations on this dish and other terrific African recipes. An online recipe site we use over and over again is The Congo Cookbook. My East Africa Journal is also a great source for recipes. We just came across a terrific culinary resource – African Cuisine Made Easy. AllRecipes and Food.com are also good resources.
As always, we’ve tried to approximate our family method of preparing this recipe. This recipe gets varied from time to time, depending on what ingredients we have on hand (or need to use up) and who is preparing the dish.
- 1 can of diced tomatoes – large (if you don’t have diced, just break up a can of plum tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 large sweet onion, rough chop
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 big sweet potatoes, diced in fairly large chunks
- 3 big carrots, also diced in fairly large chunks
- approximately 2 pounds of chicken cut up into about 1-1/2 to 2″ pieces (we use whatever chicken we have on hand, thighs or breasts)
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin (we actually use a bit more – probably just shy of 1 teaspoon)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of black pepper (to taste and we like roughly fresh ground pepper)
- 1 can of beans – drained (traditionally garbanzo beans but we’ve used kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, etc.)
Just bung everything into the slow cooker and stir well to mix all the ingredients and spices.
Cook on high for about 5 hours. Then yum, yum!
This recipe makes 6 to 8 servings (depending on the size of your bowl or appetite!). We like it with a variety of breads and it is especially tasty with biscuits to sop up what’s left at the bottom of the bowl.
Enjoy! And please let us know how you enjoy this recipe and any creative culinary modifications you make.
Cover Photo Source: Wikipedia (Creative Commons – Labeled for Reuse).