It’s 2023. I’m simultaneously relieved, exhausted, and hopeful. 2022 went out like a lion for me (more on that in a later post). Thankfully, though, I’ve had a bit of an extended break to rest and reflect as the previous year wound down and this one started up. I’m grateful.
I’ve also been seeking some serious comfort food of the healthier kind. As much fun as the holiday season diet of carbs, cheese, sugar, and booze can be in the moment, it definitely doesn’t help me feel my best and it’s definitely not sustainable. Once I rang in the new year, it was time to get back to my kitchen. I turned to recipes I knew would nourish my body and soul. I made a big pot of this vegan spiced golden soup with crispy chickpeas, ate off of it for a few days, and froze a couple portions for lunches when life inevitably gets busier this winter.
Next up was this Moroccan chicken stew. It uses the slow cooker, a true kitchen hero in my opinion. (Here’s the slow cooker I have and adore.) I’ve made it once before and knew, with the adaptations noted below, it would be a standout. I bumped up the spices quite a bit and reduced the sweetness some. I have to say, I think I got the balance just right this time around. A note here–do not skip the lemon wedges when serving. Their acidity is imperative to bringing the vibrant, flavorful spices to life.
If you’re looking to simplify life in 2023, use your slow cooker more. Start with these easy, versatile, freezer-friendly recipes your family will love.
- slow cooker Tex-Mex chicken
- slow cooker chicken stew with sausage, white beans, and spinach
- slow cooker tacos al pastor
- slow cooker Greek beef ragout
Meals don’t always have to be fancy. In fact, the best ones are often just like this one–simple, nourishing, and comforting. As we begin 2023 and find our stride with all a new year brings, I hope you’ll find as much comfort in the kitchen as I do. Here’s to 2023, friends. May we all find what we need this year.
With a quick prep time and the help of your slow cooker, you’ll have this healthy, comforting Moroccan chicken stew on the table with minimal effort and maximum flavor.
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Stew
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, Slow Cooker Revolution
1 TBSP vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 tsp. paprika (I prefer smoked, though the original calls for sweet)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. dry white wine (Doing dry January? Don’t want to buy a bottle? Try this sub.)
2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c. dried apricots, chopped medium
3 TBSP Minute tapioca
2 bay leaves
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or trimmed thighs
rice or couscous
lemon wedges, for serving (not optional–see note above)
minced fresh cilantro
red pepper flakes
- If your slow cooker has a sauté setting, heat vegetable oil in the insert and sauté onions, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne pepper, ginger, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper until onions are softened, approximately 5 minutes. If your slow cooker does not sauté, complete this step in a separate pan or in the microwave then add mixture to the slow cooker.
- Add broth, wine, chickpeas, half of the apricots, tapioca, and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Stir to combine with the onion mixture. Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours on low.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to touch, shred into bite-sized pieces.
- Skim any accumulated fat from the surface of the stew and remove the bay leaves.
- Stir in remaining apricots and add shredded chicken back in to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 10 minutes, until the apricots are slightly softened.
- To serve, scoop rice or couscous into bowls. Ladle in chicken stew. Garnish each dish with lemon wedges, cilantro, and red pepper flakes.
yield: 8 servings