Mediterranean Herb Baked Chicken

  • Yield 4 servings

This dish is very easy to make and serves up an exotic aroma from the selection of spices used. The chicken can be marinated for up to 8 hours before baking. Steamed couscous is the ideal pairing for this weeknight entree.

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus whole sprigs for garnish
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
3 pounds skinless chicken thighs (bone in) or chicken pieces
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt
4 cups hot couscous (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, turmeric and paprika in a 9×13-inch baking dish, stirring to blend.
  2. Add the chicken, turning to coat and arrange in an even, single layer.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and their juices, chicken broth, olives, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt to taste.
  4. Pour the mixture around the chicken pieces, taking care not to disturb the herb coating.
  5. Cover the dish with foil and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Bake the chicken (still covered with foil) for 40 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking until the chicken juices run clear when the meat is pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a knife, about 20 minutes longer.
  8. Spreaad the couscous on individiual plates, top with the chicken and cooking juices, and garnish with the cilantro sprigs for serving.

NOTE: Moroccan-style couscous could not be a better last-minute side dish for harried dinners. The tiny little pasta-like beads are simply added to boiling water (check the box for proportions) and set aside, covered, for about 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and it’s ready to serve.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Junior League of Seattle, Celebrate the Rain, Cooking with the Fresh & Abundant Flavors of the Pacific Northwest (The Junior League of Seattle, 2004)

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