moroccan-spiced-chicken-and-jeweled-rice

MOROCCAN-SPICED CHICKEN AND JEWELED RICE

Dark meat adds juiciness and B vitamins.

This colorful dish is ideal for entertaining, and it’s deceptively simple to put together. Antioxidant-rich pomegranate seeds, dates, and pistachios dress up the rice. “You can also swap the rice for shredded kale, Swiss chard, or cabbage and serve it as a salad,” says Laura Rege, a New York City-based recipe developer. North African spices, including coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon, bring a rich earthiness to the chicken. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

FOR THE RICE:

  • ¾ cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds, plus more for topping
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped toasted pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine rice, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the chicken spices with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss chicken thighs with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with the spice mixture. Toss carrots with one tablespoon of oil and salt.
  3. Arrange the chicken and carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake about 25 minutes, until chicken registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
  4. Stir the dates, pomegranate seeds, parsley, pistachio, and lemon zest and juice into the rice. Serve with chicken thighs.
Photography and styling by Jenny Huang