Friday recipe: Moroccan chicken stew

It chagrins me that I missed several of January’s colorful holidays, including those celebrating stellar foods: January 6 is Bean Day; January 19, National Popcorn Day; January 22, National Blonde Brownie Day; and – especially close to my Iowa heart – January 24, Eskimo Pie Patent Day, in honor of schoolteacher/candy store owner Christian Kent Nelson, who invented that tasty chocolate-and-ice-cream concoction in 1920 in Onawa, Iowa. Today, incidentally, is Punch the Clock Day and Thomas Crapper Day, the latter in honor of the man who invented the flush toilet.

While I recommend you take a pass on blonde brownies and Eskimo pies, I invite you to join my belated celebration of Hot and Spicy Food International Day (which was January 16 – who knew?) with this soul-warming stew, perfect for wintry days and bored taste buds.

We missed it: January 22 was National Answer Your Cat's Question Day.

Moroccan chicken stew

  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or one can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper (optional)
  • 3 pounds bone-in skinless chicken thighs
  • 10 ounces quinoa
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives

In 6-quart crockpot, combine squash, tomatoes, onion, garlic, beans, broth and raisins. In a cup, combine coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, paprika and chili pepper. Rub spice mixture all over chicken thighs; place chicken on top of vegetable mixture. Cover crockpot with lid and cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.

About 20 minutes before stew is done, prepare quinoa according to package directions. Stir olives into crockpot; serve stew over quinoa.

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