Let’s face it, chicken can be pretty boring at times. We were getting into a rut of chicken seasoned Greek or Italian style then grilled and served with a salad. We needed to wake up our palates a little bit and Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Summer Squash and Olives fit the bill.
I have an ongoing list of recipes that I turn to when I want to try something new. Aside from the collection of old recipes I scanned to the Cloud, I also keep a list in my blog notebook and I pin many recipes that intrigue me, too. When I’m in need of inspiration I turn to one or the other to find what I need. That’s what Pinterest is for, isn’t it? (Follow me on Pinterest to see what intrigues me at the moment.)
This recipe was adapted from The South Beach Diet Supercharged (affiliate link) and is perfect for Stage One, the most restrictive stage. There’s no reason you couldn’t serve this over cauliflower rice, regular rice or couscous if you want a more substantial meal.
I used a purchased Moroccan spice blend. It had cumin, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, clove, fenugreek and turmeric listed on the label. If you want to make your own blend, try this ras el hanout blend from MyRecipes. The blends can get really complex, but I think you’ll be able to find the spices listed without too much trouble. You probably have most if not all of them already.
To shorten the cooking time, slice or pound the chicken breasts thinly. Alternately you can purchase the pre-sliced breasts. You’ll only need one large skillet to cook this chicken with summer squash. After cooking the chicken, the squash and onions are cooked in the same pan. Any seasoning left behind by the chicken will also season the vegetables.
To me, the olives make the dish. Use whatever kind of olive you like. It doesn’t matter if they are pitted or not. The briny taste of the olive contrasts with the sweetness of the onions, squash and the spices.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced or pounded thin
- 1 tablespoon spice mix (like this one)
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 yellow squash (about a pound), thinly sliced
- a handful of olives
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley for garnish
- Combine the lemon juice and zest with the spice mix and 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small bowl.
- Rub the mix into the chicken.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and cook the chicken until it's cooked through, 3 - 4 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken to a platter and cover.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and saute the onions for 10 - 15 minutes. You want them to be really tender and sweet. Scrape the spice mix from the bottom of the skillet.
- Pour any juice from the chicken back into the skillet and add the squash.
- Cook until crisp-tender. Add the olives and cook a few minutes more until warmed through.
- Season with salt and pepper as desired and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
We really enjoyed the change of pace and the exotic taste of Morocco. A simpler spice mix is used to make pinchos morunos if you want to try another North African inspired dish.
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