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Moroccan Tajine Chicken & Lentils

Moroccan Chicken and Lentils

Morocco is located at the northern tip of East Africa spanning from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea to the Sahara desert. Morocco is largely mountainous with a great expanse of coastal plains and desert.
It is noted that Morocco has the the most diversified cuisines in the world sharing a mix of Berber, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and African influences. Saffron, mint, olives, oranges and lemons in addition to imported spices are used extensively in Moroccan cuisine. The most commonly eaten foods are chicken, beef and couscous with meat pie (pastilla), stew (tajine) and soup (harira) and mint tea.

If you have never tried Moroccan cuisine this Tajine recipe for Moroccan Chicken & Lentils is the perfect introduction. Chicken and lentils is one of my favorite ethnic dishes. The spices are similar to a curry but those with an aversion to the strong flavor should find the combination a bit more pleasing.

Source: Stolen Moments Cooking
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
1/2 pound baby carrots or sliced carrots
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dried lentils

In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric and black pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in spice blend and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently so that the spices do not burn.

Add chicken, carrots, lentils and chicken stock to the skillet. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Check chicken for doneness. If fully cooked remove from pan, shred. Return to skillet when lentils and carrots are tender. Stir to combine.