Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
22 Aug

Moroccan Chicken Casserole

moroccan chickenWe all know the saying: variety is the spice of life.

Everyone craves variety on some level, especially when it comes to what we’re eating. What is the easiest way to add variety to your meals? Turn that phrase around and you’ll have the answer: Spice is the variety of life in the kitchen.

Take a look at your spice rack. Salt, pepper, maybe some dried oregano. How about paprika and cinnamon? What about cumin, turmeric, or coriander? These aromatic seasonings can enhance anything you’re cooking. If you’re overwhelmed by all the options in the spice aisle, consider using a spice blend such as curry powder, Cajun rub or Chinese five spice. A tablespoon or less sprinkled over meat before you cook it will add a whole new dimension of flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous, buy a bunch of different spices and play around with combinations.

A blend of cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon gives chicken and cauliflower a Moroccan twist. The spices mostly add depth of flavor, with just a little bit of heat. If you want a dish that’s truly spicy, that’s where cayenne comes in.

If you’re just starting to add a new variety of spices to your pantry, the spice aisle at a grocery store is a decent place to get started. If you’re really serious about exploring spices, though, you’ll want to look for either a store that specializes in just spices or an ethnic grocery store where you can buy small amounts in bulk. Ideally, buy your spices whole and grind them with a coffee grinder right before use.

Either way, remember this – spices don’t stay fragrant and flavorful forever. They fade over time. If you’ve had a spice for six months or more, stick your nose in the jar. If there’s no aroma it’s likely there won’t be any flavor either.

Ingredients:

other ingredients

1 head cauliflower
2-3 pounds of chicken
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ginger root, finely chopped or grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional – the other spices will already add a bit of spiciness to the dish, so only add the cayenne if you want a really spicy dish)
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1/2 cup minced parsley or cilantro
2 tsp salt
1 lemon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

The base of the casserole is cauliflower grated into a rice-like texture. Chop the head of cauliflower into small pieces. Push the pieces through a food processor using the grating blade. Spread the grated cauliflower out in a 9×13 rectangular baking pan.

cauliflower rice

Salt and pepper the chicken. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a deep pan over high heat. Add the chicken, browning well, about 3-5 minutes a side.

chicken browned

Remove the chicken from the hot pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium and add onion, ginger, garlic and carrots. Cook until the onions are soft. Add remaining tablespoon of butter and all spices. Stir well.

spices

Add red pepper, the can of tomatoes, minced parsley or cilantro and salt. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Pour the chicken mixture over the cauliflower and mix really well, so the cauliflower is completely covered by the sauce. Slice a lemon into thin slices and lay on top of the casserole. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and cook for 25 minutes more.

casserole uncooked

Garnish with more fresh parsley or cilantro before serving.

moroccan chicken

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. looks soo good! can’t wait to try this!

    Lauren Bogner wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  2. I love using cauliflower as a rice sub. If you grate an entire head of cauliflower like that but don’t need the whole thing, you can put the rest in the freezer in a ziploc baggie. That way you can just use the amount you need (great for when you’re cooking for yourself) and put the rest back.

    FlyNavyWife wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  3. Mashed cauliflower is delic, I’m sure grated is too.

    Sarah wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  4. looks good, cant wait to try it!

    joshua76 wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  5. This looks wonderful–always looking for new chicken recipes. Thank you!

    livesimply wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  6. Making this tonight. Cauliflower rice = genius.

    Eric wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  7. This dish would go well with some palm oil.

    Agnieszka wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  8. I have a soft spot in my heart for anything and everything moroccan.

    JustinKN wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  9. That looks amazing. Your meals have changed the way I shop for the better. And definitely saved me money over always trying to eat out at “healthy” places. Thank you!

    Christopher Williams wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  10. Don’t forget to look for seasonal herbs at farmers markets this time of year as well, to try new flavors. Plus, look for new veggies and fruits too. Variety can keep cooking and eating both interesting and healthy. It’s when we eat the same thing time after time and get bored of it that we stray from primal foods.

    dml wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  11. Wow, looks a like you get a few more comments on the weekends! I did the time and the chicken

    dennis wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  12. Oh Yeah!! By the way, I tried tabata sprints on the beach ( a 2 mile jog from my house) in my barefeet the other day. My slightly tweaked calf muscle gave me some grief, so I had to stop and limp home. Better now, but since I wear custom orthotic inserts, I’ll have to go easy with the barefoot thing. Calf is better, I’ll try sprints with my inserts in next time.

    Judy wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  13. With hot sauce!

    BenJ wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  14. Sounds wonderful & a great photo spread too!

    Riced Cauliflower is great. I think I might have to finally break down and get a food processor. Grading them by hand is usually inconsistent and a total mess.

    I second throwing in some Red Palm oil on this one. I was expecting to see it in the list.

    Grok wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  15. love all those spices.

    Shelley wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  16. Excellent pics for something that looks real easy and tasty….

    CF_IL wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  17. Looks tasty! Going to have to give this one a try.

    Jeremy wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  18. can’t wait to try this one!

    Michy wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  19. Cauliflower and spices are two of the things I’ve used to get people more into primal eating. Cauliflower is a great substitute for rice, potatoes, and other starchy foods, and the spices really help to kick it up.

    Brian wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  20. Another great dinner to try next week!

    DaveFish wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  21. Yummy! Will try it for sure!

    rosemarie wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  22. Wow, that looks good… Now I’m hungry… lol

    Byung wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  23. 0000 I just bought chicken today

    rafiki wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  24. Sounds tasty!

    amandamarie wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  25. Yum!

    Simon wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  26. I like chicken!

    Mike Robards wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  27. Yum!!

    hannahc wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  28. I’ve never been fond of casseroles, but this one jumps out at me as one I’d definitely like to try.

    freeman wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  29. On my must-try recipe list.

    jalense wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  30. Thanks for the recipe..SAVED and added to my rolodex ;)

    gfly wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  31. salam alekoum!

    clayberg wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  32. This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.

    Tricia wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  33. Looks delicious. I’ll have to get my hands on some cauliflower.

    GeriMorgan wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  34. I wanna chicken, but I’m fasting tomorrow…. maybe cook tonight then?

    brian p wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  35. Thanks – sounds delicious! I sometimes wonder what to do with cauliflower, and now I know. It’s on my shopping list.

    Ninja Mom wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  36. Looks delicious! I’ll definitely have to try this :-)

    Halo wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  37. I’ll be making this soon!

    Eric wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  38. I am going to make that!

    Malin wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  39. Roasted cauliflower is fantastic! Roasted greenbeans, broc and kale also

    Jon Zetterberg wrote on August 22nd, 2009
  40. Tabata chicken and cauliflower.
    Perfect.

    Dexter wrote on August 22nd, 2009

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