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Moroccan Cacao Chicken

Serves 5.


    A whisper of cacao adds an enticing element to this Moroccan-inspired one-pan dinner. It’s a great dish when entertaining or simply feeding a hungry family. Try serving with whole-grain couscous or freekeh. If harissa paste is not available for the marinade, you can replace it with paprika.


    Big bird

    It’s not that chicken thighs contain more “juice” than breasts, but rather, when you cook them, they retain more moisture than breasts do, making them less prone to drying out. This chicken cut also contains a bit more fat than breasts, resulting in a more succulent mouthfeel.


    Moroccan Cacao Chicken


    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) orange juice
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped ginger
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) cacao powder
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) harissa paste
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) lemon zest
    • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground cumin
    • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) turmeric
    • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt, divided
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
    • 2 lbs (1 kg) organic boneless chicken thighs
    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) no-salt-added organic chicken broth
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) sliced dried apricots
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) shelled pistachios
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) parsley


    Per serving:

    • calories378
    • protein39g
    • fat17g
      • saturated fat3g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates19g
      • sugars10g
      • fibre5g
    • sodium569mg



    Mix together orange juice, oil, ginger, cacao powder, harissa paste, lemon zest, cumin, turmeric, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, and cinnamon in large flat container. Add chicken and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, flipping chicken once.


    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Add to 13 x 9 x 2 in (33 x 23 x 5 cm) baking dish, onion and carrots and top with chicken broth and remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Sprinkle on dried apricots. Top vegetables with marinated chicken thighs and pistachios. Drizzle with marinade juices. Bake for 45 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C).


    Drain roasting pan juices into small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.


    Divide vegetables and chicken among serving plates and drizzle on sauce. Garnish with parsley.


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    This recipe is part of the Dark Delights collection.



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