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Give your taste buds an African vacation

Claire is an aspiring nutritionist (and soon to be culinary student) with a serious addiction to bacon, wine, goat cheese and online shopping. She is recently married to a social media guru who loves *almost* everything she conjures up. ...

3 Super-spicy Morrocan dishes

If you're looking for a quick taste of Morocco but don't quite have the funds to jet-set to Northern Africa, then whip up one of these spicy and authentic Moroccan dishes. Each one has a kick of African spices and will wake up your taste buds in a jiffy.

What gives so many Moroccan dishes their amazing flavor lies in one secret ingredient: harissa. This spicy sauce is made from roasted red peppers, serrano peppers and a mix of other spicy delectables. The right amount of harissa will wake you up from your boring old weeknight meals.

1. One-skillet chicken tagine recipe

One skillet chicken tagine

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 large bone-in chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow, orange or red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Moroccan spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1/4 cup spicy red harissa
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions:

  1. Remove the skin from the lemon, and chop it into pieces.
  2. Liberally rub the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, ginger, Moroccan spice and curry.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Cook until just softened, about 4 to 6 minutes, and then remove the vegetable mix from the pan. Add the chicken breasts to the pan, and brown them on both sides over medium-high heat.
  4. Mix in the harissa, cooked vegetables and preserved lemon. Whisk in the water. Reduce heat to low, and cook until the mixture starts to slightly simmer. Then cover and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the vegetables are fork tender. Mix in the green olives.
  5. Serve with fresh parsley.

2. Spicy harissa couscous with chickpeas recipe

Spicy harissa couscous with chick peas

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cups couscous
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons harissa sauce
  • 1/2 cup Saffron Road spiced crunchy chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the couscous, let it cook for 1 minute, and then remove from heat. Stir, and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Using a fork, fluff the couscous, and then put it into a large bowl, and season it with salt and pepper. Mix in the tomatoes, peppers, harissa and spicy chickpeas. Add additional harissa, to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley.

3. Spiced olives and crunchy green beans recipe

Spiced olives and crunchy green beans

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup high-quality green olives
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled green beans
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Moroccan spice
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley

Directions: 

  1. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the coriander, red pepper flakes, turmeric and Moroccan spice. In another bowl, toss together the olives, capers and green beans.
  2. Liberally coat the olives with the spice mix, and then pour the olive-and-spice mixture into canning jars. Pour the olive oil over the olives, cover the jar with a tight-fitting lid, and store for about 4 hours in your fridge before serving.
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley.

More spicy recipes

Simple spicy shrimp pasta
Homemade chili sauce
Thai chicken curry

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