Moroccan Chicken

We all know that life isn’t fair and that good people are not immune from having bad things happen to them.  And when people we love are struck by something they never saw coming, it creates opportunity for those around them to show they care.

Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan Chicken

Just before the end of the year, Carl and I were at a Christmas party chatting to good friends.  Things were going so well for them as they’d just been on an unforgettable family holiday, had a planned extension to their home, their careers were going well and there was even a new puppy in the home.  It looked like they were headed for a fabulous 2014.

Mixing in the tomatoes

Mixing in the tomatoes

But when we returned from our holiday we found out that a few days after Christmas one of their three daughters had found a lump in her leg.  It didn’t seem like much, just a lump deep within her thigh like a hard boiled egg.  It turned out to be a very rare type of sarcoma; so rare that there have only been three reported cases in the last 28 years.

After 35 minutes in the oven, now it's time to add the remaining ingredients

After 35 minutes in the oven, now it’s time to add the remaining ingredients

Just before their teenage daughter started treatment, I was contacted by one of their friends asking if I’d like to take part in a meal roster.  Did you know there’s a site called, Take Them a Meal?  It’s a fantastic idea.  You log on and indicate the day you’d like to provide a meal and the day before you’re sent a reminder email.  It gives you a list of things they’d prefer to eat and also lets you know if there are any intolerances so you don’t make mistakes like delivering a gluten meal to a coeliac.

Going back into the oven for 20 minutes

Going back into the oven for 20 minutes

When your world is thrown into chaos and you’re having to spend a lot of time in hospitals, there could be nothing more comforting than arriving home to a meal delivered by a caring friend.

Labelling the meal in a takeaway container

Labelling the meal in a takeaway container

Here’s a recipe that I’ve used often when delivering a meal.  It’s carb-free, it’s something the whole family can enjoy, it’s able to be re-heated, it can be frozen, it has lots of protein and vegetables and all you have to do is just heat and serve.

A one-pot wonder

A one-pot wonder

Moroccan Chicken

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  An affordable family meal

  • 2 tbspns olive oil
  • 3 tspns Moroccan seasoning
  • 8 chicken thigh cutlets (sometimes known as chicken chops)
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 yellow capsicum, sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, slices
  • 3 gloves garlic, crushed
  • 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded then sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 a preserved lemon, rinsed, flesh discarded, then chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 400gm can chickpeas, drained then rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Sicilian olives
  • 1 tbspn honey

Preheat oven to 175C (350F).

Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat.  Sprinkle 2 tspns of Moroccan seasoning over the chicken then brown in the frying pan in two batches.  Remove to a large casserole dish with a lid.

Reduce heat to medium and add onion and capsicums.  Cook, stirring, until softened.  Add garlic, ginger and chilli and cook until fragrant; about 1 minute.  Add cinnamon, remaining Moroccan seasoning, paprika, tomatoes, preserved lemon and stock.  Bring stock to the boil then pour mixture over chicken.

Cover with a lid and cook for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and add chickpeas, olives and honey.  Stir through then replace lid and place in oven for another 20 minutes.

Can be served with rice or couscous or quinoa but pretty good all on its own.

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe found on Taste.

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

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  1. I’m sorry for your friends’ troubles. What a thoughtful gesture to take them this delicious meal.

  2. What a wonderful idea – prepared meals – didn’t know there was a website to accommodate the process. My girls have done this for friends coming home with new babies too. So sorry about your friend’s daughter. How terrible.

  3. How sad and very unfair. What a fantastic idea Take them a Meal is and a lovely way to support your friends through tough times.

  4. This post made me so sad and hopeful at the same time. Sad because nobody deserves to see a loved one (even worse your own child) go through something like that; hopeful because it always moves me to see how people can unite and bring out their best in these situations. I think that site is a fabulous idea.

  5. What a terrible thing to discover and what a supportive friend you are. Charlie I think you excel in a crisis-I know that because you so eagerly helped when I needed it. Take Them a Meal is a great idea.

  6. That’s really sad when it happens to someone whose whole life is ahead of her. I’m not surprised that you jumped in to support them. This Moroccan chicken dish looks wonderful. Moroccan chicken is a favourite of mine.

  7. My heart was in my mouth as soon as I read lump. I hope with all my heart for a happy ending for your friends and I’m glad they have someone like you looking out for them. xx

  8. I too hope for a happy ending for your friend’s daughter. You are such a thoughtful and caring friend I knew after reading the first sentence that you would be there for them.

  9. That’s so frightening! I hope she’ll be ok. Please let us know. I’d never heard of this service before but what a great idea. I’ll have to check it out to see if they have that here.

    Nice recipe, I’ll be sure to save it to try. Thanks for sharing this post.

  10. Hoping your friends daughter responds well to treatment and your friend and her family find strength and peace through all this. She is lucky to have a wonderful friend like you, Charlie – what a thoughtful gesture! Not to mention a scrumptious dish!

  11. How traumatic to find out around the holidays, such news… Glad you were able to be a blessing to this dear family! Yes, I have heard of this meal program. A friend of mine used it for a family she knows whose little boy is going through cancer treatments. It’s such a great idea! And this dish, YUM! xo

  12. My heart goes out to your friends and to their daughter. I pray that she can find healing.

    Having been the recipient of food deliveries after hospitalization, I can tell you that your friends will welcome your gift of a homemade meal. Bless you for supporting and loving them in this way, Charlie.

  13. What a horrible thing to have to find out. Cancer is just an awful disease. I hope that their daughter comes through. This is a great meal to send along for friends during these tough times. And what a fabulous website to organize it all!

  14. I love the gentle spicing of Moroccan food and this simple recipe showcases that perfectly. I love the idea of making it for others as well with the instructions right on top.

  15. F*ck f*ck f*ck. My friend who passed away two years ago in his mid-twenties, it was from a rare metastatic sarcoma that started in his foot. I am sending your friends SO MUCH love and hope and strength. xoxo

  16. Oh, how scary for your friends. I hope their daughter is responding well to treatment…and that she’s in remission very soon. Bless you for your kindness. xo

  17. I do hope that your friends’ daughter will be okay. How lovely to make a meal for them, and I know they could feel your love and support. What lovely idea the Take A Meal program is…I wonder if we have something like that here? I need to check into it.

  18. You are so lovely to support your friends in this hard time. All my best to them and I hope she goes into remission very soon!


  19. I’m so sorry to hear of your friends’ daughter’s cancer. How sad and scary. I hope and pray for the best for them.

  20. What a fabulous idea Charlie and so generous of you to take part. I have a friend who has been cooking for a neighbouring family for about a year now since the Dad took ill with cancer; he recently passed away and she is still cooking for the family. I’m in awe. I have cooked for families from time to time, but not as often as I would really like.
    You know how we love the Moroccan flavours, since our trip to Morocco and I just know I would love this dish. I am intrigued by the Sicilian olives, I have never seen them before but will keep my eyes open.

  21. this looks wonderful. i am a bit fan of chicken lately. i have a tagine maker as well that i’ve been meaning to use.

  22. Oh, what a shocking, shocking thing for your friends. Life is such a bitch sometimes – that’s when we need good people like you and whoever thought up that great meal roster website.

  23. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says:

    Wow, reminds you that life is short. I will keep that family in my prayers.

    • Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says:

      Also, thank you for visiting my blog! Sorry you didn’t see the comment section. You have to click on the post and scroll to the bottom. 🙂 Hope to see you again soon. 🙂

  24. Sorry to hear about your friends daughter, we take life so much for granted, well I know I do. What a brilliant idea for the dinners 🙂

  25. What a wonderful site Charlie, but how sad how much it much be needed. Your recipe sounds delicious and I’m sure it was a huge blessing to that family. I pray that healing and peace come swiftly to your friends sweetie xox

  26. You are a gem Charlie and wished you lived closer to me! I am so sorry for your friends ordeal, I know what they are going through with hospitals and endless tests. Believe me your little gestures mean a lot.


  27. G’day! What great friends you are in being so thoughtful and caring too!
    I am sorry for your friends and can only hope for the best, true!
    Your post today is a great reminder to live each day as if it was out last,
    As soon our futures become our past!
    Cheers! Joanne

  28. Such and awful thing to happen to anyone. What a wonderful idea making sure they’re all set for meals. I’m sure it would being some comfort.

  29. Perfect timing as am also cooking for friends having a less than ideal time at the moment – this is in the oven as we speak and smells lovely! Hope your friends get some good news.

  30. What a fantastic recipe! I love cooking with preserved lemons but have never made a Moroccan chicken. What a very nice things to make for your friends. I’m sure they enjoyed it as much as they appreciated it.

  31. Sorry to hear about your friend’s child… what a great recipe to cook for them!

  32. How kind. Nutritious food is the best support, and you have a great recipe there. I’m sure your friends would have felt the love you put into this.

  33. I wish we had something like that here. You’re such a good friend.

  34. I made a dish similar to this last week, Charlie. You’re right. It would make a great dish to send to a family in need. We’re so helpless when something like this strikes a friend’s family. Sending food is a great way to offer support and show our love. I hope the next time you write of these friends, it will be nothing but good news.

  35. What horrible news about your friends daughter Charlie. Sending positive thoughts and energy that she may recover fully.
    What a fabulous meal you made for them.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  36. I’m sorry to hear about your friends. That take a meal website is a wonderful idea and hits exactly what is needed at times like these. I’m sure your friends are very grateful and enjoyed this Moroccan chicken dish hugely.

  37. Hugs x

  38. Ugh, so terrible. My thoughts are with your friends!! It is so sweet of you to prepare food for them…and this chicken sounds like such a great meal! Full of warm tasty spices.

  39. Take Them A meal is a great idea. The concept is much more common I think in Australia and the US. People don’t really seem to do that here but perhaps we should. I’m so sorry about your friend’s daughter, I’m sure you’re being a very good and supportive friend. GG

  40. Oh, this is just so sad and unfair. I don’t understand why this has to happen at all.. why can’t we find a cure for this in today’s world with so much technology and brilliant researchers! You’re so lovely to do this for them, I’m always looking for recipes like this to share. I’m going to take a look at that site, we must have one here too.

  41. d e c a d e n t !!

    Even the name sounds sexy when said slowly: M o r o c c a n C h I c k e n !!! xxx

  42. Dear Charlie,

    The gift of a home-cooked meal to a friend in need is both personal and heart-warming. You are a friend indeed.

  43. So sorry about your friends! I hope things turn out well. And so nice of you to make them this terrific Moroccan dish! I love hearty Moroccan dishes like this — such terrific flavors. And I’m a sucker for anything with preserved lemon. Really nice — thanks.

  44. That website to sign up for meals is a good one. I’ve used it several times and I know the recipient is always grateful. Saying a little prayer for your friend’s daughter. Xo

  45. What a wonderful idea. I know how much your friends must have appreciated your and their other friends thoughtfulness. I certainly hope their daughter can be helped.

  46. Oh! Sorry to read about your friend daughter…
    This Moroccan chicken sounds delicious…love the spices in it…yum!
    Hope you are having a nice week Charlie 😀

  47. This is a great recipe and a wonderful thing to do. Thank you for being a good person 🙂

  48. That looks amazing! What a good friend you are. This is truly the type of recipe that I will prepare in my own kitchen.

  49. I mzde your divine Moroccan chicken dish & my Peter & I both loved ot immensly! We ate from this for 2 days in a row! x

  50. Moroccan Chicken first time i heard about it but looking amazing nice post.

  51. I am sorry to hear such sad news. That is such a great site, what a wonderful idea! They are lucky to have you as a friend 🙂

  52. I am so sorry to hear about your friend, sending light and love to them! Since I have a new diet, I had to cut out simple sugars. This recipe sounds perfect for my new way of eating, and I love all the delicious flavors! It looks hearty and delicious! Hugs, Terra

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