Moroccan Chicken Smothered in Olives

  • 1/4 cup salt for brining (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sugar for brining (optional)
  • 8 chicken thighs, skin removed and discarded
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 11 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) pitted green olives in brine, like Goya’s, drained
  • Juice of one lemon
  1. To brine the chicken (optional), combine the salt, sugar, and 1 cup hot water in a large bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 3 cups cold water and the chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
  2. Arrange the onions in a large casserole and top with the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with the ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika, garlic, and cilantro. Pour the chicken broth over all. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, turning once.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the olives with several cups of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain well and set aside.
  4. Add the olives and lemon juice to the chicken and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. If desired, simmer longer to reduce and thicken the sauce. Serve.
  • Serves 4
  • Hesser says: Go ahead, brine the chicken. It’s easy and worth it–brining lightly cures the meat and helps keep it moist. We agree, though I don’t promise we always do it.
  • We find canned green olives at Kroger, but any olive bar would do, and we’ve made it with stuffed olives, unstuffed.
  • We usually serve over rice, but good bread to sop up the amazing juices would be good, too.
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