Moroccan Chicken and Olives

I modified this recipe from Epicurious. If you have all of the ingredients, this dish is a snap to make.  If you do not have the Ras el Hanout spice blend or the preserved lemons, you can substitute; see  below. The spice blend is not hot-spicy. The variety I have in my cupboard does contain garlic powder so if you are sensitive, it would be best to substitute other spices

olive oil
1 half inch thick slice of onion
2 garlic cloves, halved
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon Ras el Hanout spice blend
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4  cup dry vermouth
1/4 cup green olives
2 tablespoons minced preserved lemon, rind only
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Warm a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Cook the onion and garlic in the oil until they are soft, then discard them.  Turn the heat up under the oil and add the chicken breasts.  Let them sit in the pan until they don’t stick anymore and are browned on one side, 3 – 4 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts over, add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT cilantro, put a lid on the pan and turn the heat to low.  Cook over low heat 12-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with cilantro and serve with quinoa.

If you don’t have Ras el Hanout, you can make your own.  You can also substitute microwaved lemons for the preserved lemons.  If you do that, add more salt to the recipe because preserved lemons are very salty.

Microwaved lemons

Quarter a lemon, but not all the way through. You want 4 quarters still attached at one end. Place in a microwave safe dish and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high until the lemons is thoroughly soft, even the skin.  Time will depend on the size of your lemon and your microwave.  Let cool until you can handle it.  Scrap away the fleshy interior and discard. Chop the cooked rind to use in the recipe.

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