Chicken and Chickpea Tangine

DSCN0369I have two reasons why I love my crock pot (or slow cooker as they’re now called): 1. Most recipes have few steps, basically put everything in a pot, set it, forget it, and when you get home the kitchen is filled with wonderful scents, you have a delicious meal ready to eat, and you’ve barely picked up a knife; and 2. Freezing leftovers is wonderful and you can pull dinner out of the freezer in the morning on a busy weeknight. It’s the original frozen dinner!

I love chicken, chickpeas, and stews, so this comforting meal was a home run in my house. I have a smaller crock pot, so I ended up finishing the cooking on the stove, because the chicken wasn’t getting cooked enough. And I took it one step further and shredded the chicken for easier eating. The leftovers were delicious, and it ended up being at least three meals in our house!

My apologies for no photograph of dinner this week. I took one, but when I looked at it, it made the dish look really unappetizing! I’ll have to work on my color settings!

Chicken and Chickpea Tangine
This recipe originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of Cooking Light magazine. Serves 8.

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
8 (5-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick (MVK’s Note: I used 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in place of a stick.)
2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
2 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
Lemon wedges

Preparation

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle meaty side of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan, meaty side down; cook 5 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pan (do not brown other side).

2. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Add cumin and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, stock, honey, and cinnamon, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a simmer. Carefully pour mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in apricots and chickpeas. Arrange chicken, browned side up, on top of chickpea mixture. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours. Discard cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with lemon wedges.