Date-elicious Moroccan chicken with quinoa and chickpeas


This sweet spicy dish reminds me a little of the Cape-Malay dishes we loved in South Africa. The sweetness of the dates is tempered by the spices and buttery flavours of the chickpeas and butternut. The spices tantalise and bounce across your tongue with each crunch through chickpea and almond flakes. It’s a Moroccan keeper for us.



600g of deboned, skinless chicken thighs, diced into thumb-size pieces

1 TBS regular flour

3 TBS olive oil

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 1/2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 tsp Ras el Hanout

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 TBS lemon juice

10 pitted dates

3 TBS slivered almonds

3 TBS fresh chopped cilantro


For the accompaniment:

1 cup of quinoa

80g tinned chickpeas

2 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves

200g of butternut, diced into 3/4″ cubes

sprinkling of Ras el Hanout

2 TBS olive oil

(we cheated here and used Sainsbury’s Quinoa, bulgar wheat and chickpea mix)



Roast the butternut, shallots, garlic cloves in a shallow pan with 1 TBS olive oil for 30 minutes at 180 degrees celcius. The quinoa, bulgar wheat and chickpea mix was simply heated in the microwave and transferred to a warmed pot with the other TBS of olive oil. Add the roasted vegetables to the mix and sprinkle a little Ras el Hanout into the mix.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and flour. Heat a TBS of  olive oil in a largish pot on a medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until golden on all sides. Remove. Reduce heat to medium, add the shallots and cook until golden. Add the cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Stir for a minute or two until fragrant. Increase heat to high and add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Boil over medium heat, reduce heat and add the dates. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened – approx 10 minutes. Return the chicken pieces and boil over medium heat. Add the flour if the sauce hasn’t thickened enough. Stir in a sprinkling of Ras el Hanout.

Toast the almonds for a few seconds in a pan.


Serve with the Moroccan chicken with the quinoa, chickpea mix – sprinkled with toasted almonds and the chopped fresh cilantro.

Mmmm…sooooooooo good



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