Crispy Chicken and Roast Tomatoes Moroccan Style

  • Yield: servings


2 1/2cups whole wheat pita pocket crumbs processed from whole wheat pita pocket rounds*
4teaspoons olive oil
1teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon ground black peppercorns
1/4-- mounded teaspoon garlic powder
8-- skinless, boneless chicken thighs,
-- about 1 1/2 pound
2/3cup plain yogurt (whole milk)
1teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1teaspoon grated lemon zest
1large clove garlic, grated
1/2teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/8teaspoon ground cumin
1/8teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8teaspoon ground allspice
1/8teaspoon cayenne
06teaspoons ground cloves
1pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/8teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon ground black peppercorns
1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives (rinsed and patted dry before chopping)
1/4cup crumbled feta cheese
2tablespoons fresh chopped mint, plus leaves for garnish
1-- lemon cut into 4 wedges for garnish


Pour crumbs into a medium bowl and drizzle with oil; toss to coat. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add crumbs to skillet; cook stirring and tossing until crumbs are light golden-about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring until crumbs are dry, about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and sprinkle salt, peppercorns and garlic powder over crumbs; stir then pour into a shallow baking dish. Cool crumbs completely.

Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towel. In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne and cloves together. Place chicken thighs into mixture; toss until coated. Let thighs rest in bowl.

Place tomatoes in a small bowl and sprinkle with salt and peppercorns. Add olive oil; toss to coat. Line a large edged baking sheet with foil. Place a large wire rack toward one end of pan. Spoon tomatoes into pan next to rack or if rack covers entire pan then make a foil packet for tomatoes, leaving top open. Spoon tomatoes into packet and set on far end of rack.

Working with one chicken thigh at a time, shake excess yogurt from thigh
into bowl then press thigh firmly into crumbs. Turn thigh; press firmly so crumbs adhere then place thigh on wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining thighs, spacing equally. Let chicken rest 20 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake chicken and tomatoes 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Remove from oven. Let rest 3 minutes then spoon roasted tomatoes into a bowl. Add olives, feta and mint. Gently stir together.

Arrange two thighs on a dinner plate and top with tomato mixture and garnish plate with mint leaves and lemon wedge.

4 servings

* For 2-1/2 cups crumbs, tear pita pockets (Kangaroo brand) into small pieces and process half of the pieces at a time to coarse crumbs in a food processor.