This superb Moroccan dish has many interpretations. For the purists it is pronounced “char ‘d jean” which has a really soft “d” in the middle.

This was very popular with the kids and quite simple to make once you get the hang of it. There is a homemade honey recipe in here which is great for dishes which require honey or sweeteners.

Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp organic coconut oil

1kg organic free range chicken breast fillets, chopped

2 brown onions, chopped (don’t use red onions for this recipe)

3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 – 1 tsp hot chili powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup of fresh coriander, chopped (stems and leaf is good)

2 cups water (reserve 1/2 cup water to clean your pan)

6 Medjool dates, pitted and quartered

1/3 cup homemade honey (4 dates,  1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 tsp nutmeg)

1/2 tsp ground black peppercorns to taste (optional)

Coriander and slivered almonds to serve.

Method:

Note: This is a slow cooked meal (6 hours ideally), although I’m sure you could apply all these instructions and simmer in a large pan or wok for about 20 minutes with reasonable results. Just add the ‘honey’ and dates for the last few minutes.

Turn on the slow cooker and add 1.5 cups of boiling water. Cut your chicken breasts into ‘bite-sized’ pieces and add them to the water and place the lid on the cooker. Set the temperature to high or medium (depending on your cooker).

Place 1 Tbsp of the coconut oil in a frying pan and cook the onion until tender.  Add the garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, ground cumin and chili powder and fry for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Enjoy the fragrance!

Now add all this into the slow cooker with the chicken.

Add your remaining 1/2 cup of water to the empty frying pan in order to ‘clean’ the pan to make sure you don’t miss any of these fragrances. Once the pan water is brown and fragrant with spices, tip into the slow cooker as well. Now add the fresh-cut coriander and black peppercorns. Mix well and cover. Cook for about 6 hours until the chicken is tender. After about 5 hours, stir in the homemade honey (or raw honey) and the 6 pitted dates and continue to keep warm until you serve (up to an hour before you serve is fine to add these final ingredients).

Serve over a bed of warm quinoa with your favourite steamed vegetables.

Method for the homemade honey:

The Fruit Loop aims to strictly provide sugar free recipes but in this situation it does acknowledge that many of you may have access to fresh raw, unprocessed honey which does make some strong health claims, although still extremely high in natural sugar. You may wish to use raw honey in this recipe if you have access to it.

Blend or process the 4 pitted dates, 1/4 cup fresh/ frozen blueberries, 1/3 cup water and 1/3 tsp of nutmeg. You may need to stop occasionally to clear the mixture off the walls of the processor or blender. Now remove about 1/3 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker and blend with the ‘honey’ and then add back into the slow cooker and mix well.

 

 

 

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