Moroccan Chicken Sumac

Growing up in California, I was blessed to have been surrounded by a plethora of other cultures. I am especially lucky to have a mother who teaches English as a Second Language (E.S.L.) to immigrants who are far more generous than many of my American peers. Some of my mom’s students (and other immigrants I have met) would literally give the shirt off of their back, so sharing food was just a basic gesture.

Each year, my mother would host a (glorious, fun, yummy) potluck where I was able to try food from many cultures around the world. The pride of each country or region was so fun to see and my mom’s students really “showed out” with their dishes. Each student urged me to try just a bit of their food. Each story was similar: “it’s the best food in the world!” The passion for food and culture started in my mom’s  classroom. It is safe to say that during that time, I had taken kindly to Moroccan food and culture.

That being said, I write my own recipes. Of course I always search for many recipes of what I want to cook, taking and adapting elements from each, but never imitating anything fully. I think cooking is very much an art form, and so I encourage you to adapt this simple recipe to your liking.

• Ingredients:

○ Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (or breasts)
○ 1/3 cup Olive Oil
○ 6-8 Cloves Minced Garlic
○ Juice of 1 Lemon
○ 2 Tsp Sumac Seasoning
○ 3 Tbsp Butter
○ Salt

1. Mix together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, sumac and salt into a plastic bag.
2. Add chicken to the plastic bag with seasonings and let marinate for a few minutes. This can be done longer if desired.
3. When ready to cook, start by heating a large non-stick pan on medium heat.
4. Melt the butter into the bottom of the pan and spread around.
5. Add the chicken thighs and cook with medium heat on each side until browned.

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6. After about 10 minutes, the liquid should start to thicken up. This is the part that you don’t want to skip. If you let this part thicken, the mixture crystallizes and creates the most delectable browned bits on the chicken.

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7. When finished to your desired “brown-ness,” remove the chicken and serve with cous cous.

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Pro Tip: I like to serve my Chicken Sumac with Garlic Aioli 🙂