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Moroccan Chicken and Rice

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    This one-pot chicken and rice jumble gets an autumnal boost from butternut squash and is laced with the fragrant perfume of a variety of mixed dried spices. It’s not a spicy dish but is wonderful served with harissa, a North African spicy pepper paste.

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    1 onion, chopped
    2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    2 skinless, boneless free-range chicken breasts, cubed
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) each ground cinnamon, cumin seeds, garlic powder, ginger, turmeric, and sea salt
    2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth
    2 cups (500 mL) butternut squash, chopped
    1 cup (250 mL) basmati rice
    1/4 cup (50 mL) raisins

    In large, wide saucepan or Dutch oven, saute onion in oil until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

    Add chicken and sprinkle with seasonings. Stir-fry until spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in a little chicken broth. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up and stir in brown bits from pan bottom. Add remaining stock and stir in squash, rice, and raisins. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring halfway through, until rice is tender and chicken is cooked, 18 to 20 minutes. Garnish with sliced green onion.

    Tip: Speedy squash
    When chopping butternut squash, with its characteristic tough skin, the going can be slow. But here’s a trick: microwave the whole squash, on high, for 2 minutes. This creates steam inside which softens the skin, making it easier to peel.

    Serves 4.

    Each serving contains: 358 calories; 20 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 64 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 660 mg sodium

    source: "Ready, Set...Cook Healthy!", alive #324, October 2009

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    Moroccan Chicken and Rice

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