Chicken Fricassee with Butternut Squash
Sweet and delicately spiced, a classic North African dish of chicken with cumin, cinnamon and chickpeas, which goes perfectly with our Moroccan Couscous recipe. This recipes uses some of my favourite ingredients like butternut squash and chickpea. The flavours are fragrant and mildly spicy which largely eminates from the cinnamon, lots of lovely flavours with a curry. You could even give the chicken a miss and enjoy the vegetables and chickpeas in the stew. We teach this recipe in one of our Middle Eastern cookery classes. If you would like to find out moreabout our Cookery classes in Rickmansworth, please contact Cara Brummitt on 01923 778880.
8x free-range organic skinless chicken thighs bone on or off – your preference
8g/ 1tbsp spice mix (½ tsp ground anise, 1tsp ground turmeric, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp ground cardamom, ½ tsp ground coriander seeds, ½ tsp ground cumin, 1/2tsp ground black pepper)
4g/ 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
40ml olive oil
150g/ 1x large onion, finely chopped
300g Butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
100g/ 2 sticks Celery, cut into 1cm pieces
15g/ 3tsp Gram flour
6g/1 tsp paprika
60g/ 4tbsp Tomato Puree
900 ml Chicken stock (use 2 stock cubes if you don’t have home-made chicken stock)
300g Cooked chick peas
8g/ several pinches sea salt or to taste
30ml/2tbsp lemon juice
5g/ 1 handful chopped coriander
Make the spice blend in the first instance. This can be made in a large quantity and stored as a dry spice blend to use with a chicken salad or grilled lamb chops. Take out 8g for this recipe.
Mix the chicken with the spices blend and 20g of olive oil and coat well, cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours
Place 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and on a high heat, colour the chicken pieces for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve. Add another 1 tbsp of oil then the cinnamon stick, onions and ginger. Cook for 3-4 minutes on a medium heat before adding the butternut squash, chickpeas, celery and salt, sauté for 5 minutes
Stir in the tomato puree and the gram flour. Return the chicken pieces to the pan mix well and cook for a few minutes before adding the stock and add the salt.
Bring to a simmering point, turn out into a casserole or oven proof dish and cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
In the oven the liquid should not boil but should cook with just one or two bubbles barely breaking the surface. The chicken will then be tender and succulent. When the chicken is cooked, finish the juices with the lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
Serve in a large casserole at the table.
Cooks Hint 1: The further addition of some olives, and preserved lemons would be delicious.
Chicken is a very good source of protein, niacin, selenium and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of pantothenic acid and phosphorus. Chicken is a versatile source of protein that is low fat and easy to prepare.
Butternut Squash a good source of vitamin C, potassium and carotenes. The darker the flesh the richer the carotene content.
Ginger contains many volatile components that are responsible for its health giving properties on of gingers constituents responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects is gingerols.
Chickpeas are high in protein and have a low glycemic index and will therefore keep you full for much longer, they are also very good for lowering stress levels.
Recipe created by Kumud Gandhi of The Cooking Academy – Cookery School in Rickmansworth – Hertfordshire
Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.