Last updated on August 12th, 2018.
Warm up with a bowl of spicy, sweet, and savory Moroccan Chicken Stew with Pumpkin. Serve over rice, couscous, or quinoa. You’ll LOVE the sweet and spicy flavors of this dish. This Moroccan Chicken Stew cooks in one pot. Easy peasy.
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Ahh, pumpkin season. The time when all food blogs are overrun with all kinds of pumpkin dessert recipes. I LOVE pumpkin dessert – cheesecakes, pies, bars, literally ANYTHING pumpkin is so good and the spices that accompany it are so delicious. But I try not to make dessert more than a couple of times a month. There is so much candy and birthday cake at work, that even without making dessert we end up eating too much sweets.
So what do you do when you are craving delicious pumpkin but have gone to TWO birthday parties this weekend and it would almost be sinful to make pumpkin pie after eating birthday cake all weekend? Why, you make savory pumpkin recipes, of course. I modified this awesome recipe from closet cooking to make it a bit simpler: Pumpkin Chicken Tagine
This Moroccan Chicken Stew with Pumpkin is one of my favorite things that I’ve had in a long while. It is SO flavorful and delicious. It’s just a bit spicy but also sweet from the apples, honey, and dried cranberries. And it also contains pretty much all the spices that go into a pumpkin pie, so it has SO much flavor!
Traditionally, a Moroccan stew is cooked in a pot called tagine (or tajine), and the stew is also called tagine. A tagine is a type of clay pot used in North Africa that has a cone shaped or a done shaped lid. The shape of the lid allows all the condensation from the stew to return to the pot, to keep the contents of the pot stewing without having to use a lot of liquid in the cooking. This style of cooking is perfect for the desert.
Now, sadly, I do not have a tagine. And luckily I do not live in a desert. You can use any large saucepan or skillet with high sides for this Moroccan Chicken Stew recipe.
The most time consuming part of this Moroccan Chicken Stew recipe was cutting, peeling, and cubing the pumpkin. If you can buy a 1 pound package of cut-up pumpkin, then this recipe will only take you 40 minutes at most. I do like buying the whole pumpkin because I love roasting pumpkin seeds. If you want to start with a whole pumpkin, you can peel and chop the pumpkin in advance and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. Just be careful with cutting the pumpkin – it always scares me a little how slippery they are, and how sharp the knife is – eek!
This Moroccan chicken stew is so ridiculously good. It is by far the most delicious thing I’ve had in a while. I think I already mentioned that. I am just excited about how good this came out.
We ate the stew over rice. It would be really good served over couscous or quinoa as well.
Sweet and Spicy Moroccan Chicken Stew with Pumpkin
- 2 chicken breasts , diced into bite size pieces
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 1 small onion , thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves , grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 1 lb raw pumpkin , cubed (about 4-5 cups)
- 1 medium apple , peeled and diced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
- Garnish: chopped cilantro, slivered almonds, toasted pumpkin seeds, dollop of yogurt
- Season the diced chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan, and cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side to brown the chicken. Remove from pan. It is OK if the chicken is not fully cooked yet.
- Add the rest of the olive oil in the pan and add the sliced onion, minced garlic, ginger, ground turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes, making sure to coat the onion in the spice mixture.
- Add the browned chicken back to the pot and saute for 1 minute, coating the chicken with the spice mixture. Add the chicken stock, water, cubed pumpkin, apple, cranberries, honey, and lemon juice. Give it a good stir, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is cooked and fork-tender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve over rice, couscous, or quinoa. Garnish with fresh herbs, more dried cranberries, slivered almonds, or a dollop of yogurt.