I’ve made Moroccan Chicken for dinner guests more times than I can count (even more than my signature Eggplant Parmesan), but this is the first time I adjusted the recipe to be SIBO diet-friendly. The result was no less divine than the original.
This recipe is too good not to share, so it’s portioned to feed 4-6 (and/or have plenty left over for lunch or dinner the next day… it only gets better with time!).
Speaking of getting better with time, when possible, start this dish in the early afternoon, and where indicated in the instructions below, turn it off and allow to sit at room temperature until you’re ready to heat it up for dinner a couple hours later. It really does improve the flavor.
My favorite pan for this dish is my old Farberware electric skillet, because it maintains a nice low simmer that develops flavor without burning.
8 boneless / skinless chicken thighs, scraped of excess fat and cut in half
2+ TBL olive oil
3 TBL coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground dried ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (I prefer white pepper for this)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
Pinch of saffron (the size of the pinch depends on the quality of your saffron)
1 large sprig of rosemary, leaves stripped and minced (flowers okay too!)
2 TBL honey
1/3 cup dried papaya, diced*
2 cinnamon sticks
1+ cup broth, divided (I’ve used chicken or beef, whatever I’ve made recently)
3 whole tomatoes, diced, or 2 cans tomatoes (also diced) with juice
Flat leaf parsley, chopped
In a small, deep bowl, combine the coconut flour, cinnamon, dried ginger, turmeric, amchoor, salt and pepper until well-mixed.
In a large, heavy frying pan (or electric skillet) with a lid, bring the olive oil to medium heat.
Toss each chicken piece in spiced coconut flour and place into the warmed skillet. Cook until both sides are golden brown, roughly 4-6 minutes per side.
Note: I’ve found coconut flour browns very quickly. Keep your heat to medium (or medium low depending on your pan or stove), and if you need a bit more oil to keep the pan from getting too dry, add it in small amounts along the side (so it warms up before reaching the chicken).
Once all the chicken pieces are golden, remove them from the pan and set aside.
Add any remaining spiced coconut flour to the pan, along with fresh ginger, saffron, rosemary, honey, papaya, cinnamon sticks, and 1/2 of the broth, stirring well for roughly 1 minute until everything is bubbling. Add tomatoes (and their juices), stir well, and cook on medium heat for 2-3 more minutes.
Return chicken to the pan, turn it to coat with sauce, cover the pan, and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
Check the chicken occasionally, and add the remaining broth if / as necessary to keep roughly 1/2″ of sauce / juices / gravy in the bottom of the pan at all times.
After 45 minutes, the chicken is ready to serve, but it will taste even better if you can turn off the heat, keep the skillet covered, and let the chicken rest in the pan with the sauce for 2-4 hours.
When you’re ready to serve, garnish with slivered almonds and flat leaf parsley.
*Note about papaya: the origins of this recipe call for dried apricot instead of papaya. Dried apricot is not listed in the SIBO diet chart, but fresh apricot is listed in the “orange” zone, so I’ve assumed that dried apricot is equally or more risky and substituted papaya to stay in the “green” zone.
Side Dish Suggestions:
The sauce is so tasty, you’ll want something to soak it up: I recommend boiled and mashed rutabagas, or boiled and mashed yellow squash, or lightly steamed zucchini noodles. Add a cooked green vegetable, and dinner is done!