The winter months are all about comfort foods for us, and nothing hits the spot like a great bowl of stew! This Moroccan Chicken Stew is full of robust ingredients like cinnamon, sweet potatoes and fresh cilantro, which makes it a tummy warming dish that your whole family will love.
I know when most people think of a Stew recipe they first think of Beef, but let me assure you that this Chicken Stew is not only quick and easy, but it is full of healthy ingredients and flavors that will leave you wanting a second and third bowl! In the winter months we tend to make dishes like our Beef Stroganoff and Chicken Pot Pie quite often, but I really wanted to try something different and couldn’t be happier with how this Moroccan Chicken Stew turned out.
For this recipe you will need: boneless skinless chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, fresh cilantro, onion, chicken broth, flour, olive oil, ground ginger, cinnamon, lemon juice, couscous, saffron (optional), salt & pepper.
Why Moroccan Chicken Stew?
I am ALL about comfort foods in the cool months and often find myself making the same delicious meals over and over again! Now, don’t get me wrong, they are scrumptious and all but I just wanted to try my hand at something different. I was poking around in my pantry one afternoon and noticed I had a couple of beautiful sweet potatoes to use and I knew that we had just done fries the other day so I wasn’t looking to replicate that. We try to keep our meals revolving to keep our tummies and taste buds happy!
So, back to the sweet potatoes! When I make my Beef Stew I always use yellow potatoes but looking at the gorgeous orange color of the sweet ones I knew that I wanted to showcase them in this dish, not just cube em and cover them in sauce. Also, with the New Year right around the corner, I have been trying to be a little more mindful of the food we are eating, as we have definitely overindulged this Holiday Season!
Like most of my recipes I share with you guys, this one just stated to come together the more I looked in the fridge and saw the ingredients that we had. I did have to search out some Moroccan spices to get some inspiration for how to season the dish, and I noticed that two things used in most of their dishes were cinnamon and ginger, both things I don’t get to cook with enough! And with that, we ended up with a delicious Chicken Stew that looked like this:
chicken stew faqs
This recipe is actually very easy to make, it just needs a little time to stew on the stove for all the flavors to come together, but it requires nothing more than some chopping and sauteing, making it great for weeknights or weekend dinner!
what to serve with stew?
As with any stew you want to keep what you serve along side it simple. Everything you need is already in the stew; protein, veggies, etc but it is always a good idea to serve any of the following:
- simple side salad – think basic greens like red leaf lettuce, arugula, kale or spinach with a lemon vinaigrette
- crusty bread – anything thick and firm for soaking up all the delicious juices
- couscous, quinoa, rice or any other grain to use as a bed for your chicken stew to sit on
- blanched green beans with a little olive oil and white wine vinegar
how do you make the perfect stew?
If there is ONE tip I can give you to making the perfect stew it is this…Dredge your meat in flour with salt & pepper and allow your pan to come to high heat before adding it in. Give the meat a nice sear on each side to create a nice browning. Remove the meat from the pan, turn the heat to medium and cook your aromatics (onions, celery, garlic etc) in the same pan to pick up the delicious flavors of the meat!
you may need:
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In order to make any kind of stew I strongly recommend a good Dutch Oven. They hold the heat well, distribute the heat evenly and are incredibly easy to clean. Plus, they come in so many gorgeous colors and are a great kitchen decor item (we leave ours on the stove all the time)!
We have this Dutch Oven and have loved it since day one:
Easy Moroccan Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Couscous
- 4 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup Flour
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 stick Cinnamon *you can also use 1/2 tsp ground
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup Couscous
- Salt & Pepper
- pinch Saffron *this is optional, but it adds a gorgeous color to the stew
- In a medium Dutch Oven, or heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, mix flour with salt and pepper in a low sided bowl. Dredge chicken one at a time and shake off the excess. Add to hot pan and cook until browned on each side - about 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
- Add onion, cinnamon, ginger and brown sugar to the pot and cook until onion softens (2 mins). Return the chicken to the pot and add in the chicken broth and sweet potatoes. *if using saffron it also gets added here*
- Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until chicken is cooked and sweet potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir in lemon juice. Season with additional salt & pepper if needed.
- While stew cooks prepare couscous following package instructions (generally it is about 1 1/4 c water for 1c couscous, boil and remove from heat to let stand).
- Serve stew over a scoop of couscous and top with cilantro.
To say we enjoyed this stew would be an understatement! We devoured it and couldn’t wait to make it again. It is easy to make, uses a few simple ingredients, and can even be made ahead of time. In fact I think it tastes even better the next day when your flavors can sit!
Now we chose to serve ours with couscous to keep with the Moroccan theme but you could easily sub out basamati rice or quinoa if you prefer those grains. Also, you could chop the chicken up rather than using the whole thigh, but we found it was easier for serving sizes to just allocate 1 thigh per person.
other comfort foods you may enjoy
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato Soup
- Old Fashioned Beef Stew – Better Homes & Gardens
- Lentil Shepherd’s Pie – Vegetarian Entree