It’s not every day that someone destined to become famous asks you to collaborate on her first book. Let me explain: could my desk top be used to download the images of the illustrations going into her first children’s book? Of course, and I’ll lmake dinner. Teeny tiny contribution but hey, famous-people-to-be have to eat too, especially if they hold down a demanding 60 plus hours a week real job while writing and illustrating a whole book on the side! So it was, on a weeknight, that I prepared this dish for my super talented friend Ann. The book was inspired by Ann’s safari trip to Africa and stars a darling zebra named Charlie. An African-inspired nourishing dinner it had to be! And one that could sit until whenever the guest of honor would show up. So was born this savoury Moroccan Chicken Thigh dinner with all the flavors of a tagine and the ease of a crockpot. Fast and easy for a weeknight but good enough to serve to the special guests in your life.
Crockpot Moroccan Chicken Thighs
- 10 boneless chicken thighs
- 1 t paprika
- 1/2 t cayenne
- 1 t cumin
- 1/2 t turmeric
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t cardamom
- pinch saffron
- 1 T honey
- 1 T harissa, or more to taste
- 1 large onion chopped or 14 oz pearl onions
- 12 slices of preserved lemon, rinsed and dried
- 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1 cup of mixed olives
- 1/2 c raisins
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 c water
- 1/4 c chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping when ready to serve
- Mix together all the spices and coat the chicken. Place the chicken on the bottom of the crockpot.
- Top the chicken with the olives, onions, preserved lemon, ginger, garlic, raisins, harissa and honey. Pour water on top, cover and set on low for 6 hours.
- Mix well. Serve over rice with a sprinkling of parsley or cilantro.
The author, my inspiring dear friend Ann Luebbert, the book and one of the African zebras who inspired the book:
“Charlie dreamt of a place beautiful beyond his imagination, a place full of adventure, far away.” Charlie and the Awesome Hat, Ann Luebbert