If you like spicy, the Moroccan Slow-Cooked Lamb recipe from Epicurious 1 is a flavor sensation and a joy to prepare as aromas arise and the herbs, spices, zest and ginger root call up so many of your senses. But I didn’t want lamb quite as often as my husband wanted to make this dish, and I always have my eye on bone health 2 , so I decided to make this with chicken thighs, drumsticks and livers *, and see if it we could sustain the gustatory delights.
Well, it was every bit as good as the lamb version though quite its own taste, and a true treat for my bones as well. It takes a bit of adaptation, as follows.
- Joint a pastured chicken, clipping off the outer wingbone, removing the drumstick/thighs from the backbone, leaving a good bit of breast attached to the remaining more-meaty wing, and severing the breast in two. Cut off fatty deposits attached to the skin though leave a bit of skin on each chicken piece.
Put the bones, wing clips and all giblets save the liver into a small saucepan, cover with two plus a tablespoon of water, add a carrot a/nd coriander stalks, and simmer, covered, until you have the chicken broth required for the recipe. Or, defrost chicken broth you’ve stored, or in a pinch (in desperation) use unsalted organic chicken broth from a carton.
- Double the spice recipe; that is ground coriander, fennel seeds etc
- Wash, dry and rub with olive oil each chicken piece and the liver. If you wish, you can purchase additional livers and add them here. Dredge in the herb/spice mix aiming to coat the skin. Place chicken pieces in a baking dish, pat on any remaining spice mix and drizzle just a little bit of additional oil on each piece.
- Make the sauce leaving out tomatoes. We’re baking those separately.
I substituted spring onions for onions because I did have scallions and didn’t have any proper onions. You could use shallots too but skip red onions for this recipe.
- Core the tomatoes, pour a few drops olive oil into the core, sprinkle on some oregano. Cut a red pepper in half, take out the stem end, pith and seeds, rub with a bit of olive oil and sit on a piece of aluminum foil into the same baking pan with the tomatoes. (Use the foil because peppers have a strong taste and tomatoes are more delicate, and you don’t want to sully either with the other. Or, if you’re allergic to red pepper but you have a dining partner who isn’t, the foil makes everyone happy.)
- Slice an acorn squash into rings, drizzle each ring with a bit of melted butter and sprinkle with chili pepper, or black pepper if you don’t want everything spicy.
- Wash Brussels sprouts, slice off very bottom of each and make a small x. That helps the Brussels to cook through instead of just outside leaves leaving core uncooked. Keep the leaves that fall away for juicing.
Bake everything at 350◦ , chicken first. With ten minutes to go, put up the Brussels to boil.
- Once the chicken is just cooked and the sauce is done, remove chicken pieces to plate, pour chicken pan juices into the sauce, heat through and sit chicken pieces into the sauce.
- Plate the chicken pieces each person selects, spoon sauce from bottom of the pan to catch the fruit and onions, and add a chicken liver, a tomato, some pepper (optional), and a few squash rings. Spoon more sauce as desired and sprinkle with chopped coriander per recipe.
- Drain Brussels and add to the plate.
1 Moroccan Slow-Cooked Lamb http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/moroccan-slow-cooked-lamb-231597
2 The Healthy Bones Nutrition Plan and Cookbook says …
Dark meat from pastured poultry and gizzards from same are a source of Vitamin K2 which is scarce in food yet essential for bone formation.