Chicken with Moroccan Hot and Sweet Tomato Sauce

I’ve been looking for a bunch of chicken recipes lately, as one of our frequent dinner guests won’t eat anything else. Someone I (sort of?) know from some defunct Boston music based message boards posted this recipe recently, and I knew right away it would be good. I was still sort of impressed, though, by how much everyone liked it. Definite keeper! My version’s slightly different from the original, due to more mouths to feed/an inability to read recipes, and…because I felt like it. Gotta keep it interesting!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger (I can’t read and used a lot more than called for, but don’t think it was a negative, so use the higher amount if you like ginger, the lower if not)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  •  2 tablespoons dark honey (if you can’t find that, use regular honey)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Pour the can of crushed tomatoes into a pot and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then stir in 4 tablespoons of the butter, continuing to stir until melted. Simmer a minute or two further, still stirring, then remove from the heat and set aside.

Put the onions and garlic in the food processor and process until smooth. I didn’t bother chopping the onion into very small pieces, as the food processor is entirely capable. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the chicken pieces.

Roughly centimeter wide strips.

When the oil has heated enough that it’s shimmering, add some of the chicken strips, leaving enough space between them that they don’t touch.

Ask me about my space management skills. Don’t ask me about the grease now all over the stove.

Cook until golden on the bottom, then flip. When browned on both sides, remove to a dish. It’s ok if they’re still pink in the middle, as they will be cooked further. Continue cooking until all the pieces are golden, adding more oil if necessary.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the now empty pan. Add the garlic/onion paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to smell sweet. Add the cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce and honey, stir together, and cook another 2-3 minutes until the sauce has warmed up.

Add the chicken back to the pan and stir to ensure it’s covered all over with sauce.

Put a lid on it and cook over low heat until the chicken is fully cooked in the middle, 15-20 minutes.

The recipe suggested serving with couscous, I served with a bucket of quinoa. The sesame seeds are to be sprinkled on top when serving. We’re not big on seeds, so I skipped that.

As I said, people really liked this, especially the cinnamon flavor that comes through. There was probably enough for 6 if you’re all light eaters, or four…people who appreciate dinner.

Chicken with Moroccan Hot and Sweet Tomato Sauce

Adapted from Joe Cooks.

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  •  2 tablespoons dark honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Pour the can of crushed tomatoes into a pot and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then stir in 4 tablespoons of the butter, continuing to stir until melted. Simmer a minute or two further, still stirring, then remove from the heat and set aside.

Put the onions and garlic in the food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the chicken pieces. Add chicken strips, leaving enough space between them that they don’t touch. Cook until golden on both sides, then remove to a dish. Cook remaining pieces, adding more oil if necessary.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the now empty pan. Add the garlic/onion paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to smell sweet. Add the cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and honey, stir together, and cook another 2-3 minutes until the sauce has warmed up.

Add the chicken back to the pan and stir to ensure it’s covered all over with sauce. Cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is fully cooked in the middle, 15-20 minutes.

Serve over couscous or quinoa and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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