This vibrant Moroccan-spiced chicken stew is packed with a complexity of flavors that will taste even better the following day in the unlikely event you have leftovers; another way to perk up those rather dull chicken breast fillets that cry out for additional color and flavor.
Vegetarians could make this with firm tofu; (just replace the chicken broth with water or vegetable stock).
Saffron and cinnamon go brilliantly with tomatoes, peppers and fennel – and the addition of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) makes this a really satisfying one-dish chicken supper.
Finally, the fact that you get to open a couple of cans should appeal to lazy cooks like myself.
SAFFRON CHICKEN STEW with CHICK PEAS (GARBANZO BEANS)
1 med onion, chopped
3 fat cloves of garlic, minced
One 3 inch (8cm) cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon of Spanish saffron, crumbled
¼ teaspoon of dried chili pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
Just a pinch of ground cloves
2 teaspoons of extra-v olive oil
6 oz (170g) of fresh fennel
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1 ½ inch (4cm) pieces
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into 1 ½ inch (4cm) pieces
One 15 oz (430g) can of crushed Italian tomatoes
1 cup (240ml) of chicken broth
1 lb (1/2 kilo) of skinless, boneless chicken breast
One 15 oz (430g) can of garbanzo beans/chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
In a wide, heavy pan with a lid, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, saffron, chili flakes, bay leaf and ground cloves, until the onion is soft (approx 12 minutes).
Trim the fennel and cut it into wedges about ¼ in (4mm) thick, then add the fennel along with the red and yellow peppers to the pan.
Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes and chicken broth; bring it to a simmer then cover and cook for another 20 minutes or until the peppers and fennel are tender.
Meanwhile, pat the chicken pieces dry and cut into ¾ inch (2cm) thick slices.
Season the chicken with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add them to the pan, along with the chickpeas.
Stir everything together well and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through (approx 6-8 minutes).
Just before serving, check the seasoning and stir in the chopped parsley.
Nothing else needed.