Enjoy this hearty stew like dish on a cold winter night with quality crusty whole grain bread... Mmmmm!


Spice mixture, (see recipe below)

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, zest grated and juiced plus 2 lemons, quartered, for garnish
1 teaspoon harissa,  (found in health food & specialty food stores)
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken broth
Pinch saffron strands
1 large onion, chopped
6 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch half moons or chunks
4 medium plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried figs, quartered
1/4 cup black olives, pitted and halved
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


In a medium glass bowl, combine the spice mixture, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and harissa. Add the chicken breasts and stir to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours. Warm the chicken broth and add the saffron strands, then allow to steep at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the chicken from the marinade. In a Dutch oven over high heat, brown the chicken in 2 tablespoons olive oil, about 2 to 3 minutes tossing occasionally to brown on all sides. Set chicken aside on a plate.


Reduce the heat to medium; add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan, and sauté the onion until golden, about 5 minutes. Place the chicken on top of the onions and add any accumulated juices from the plate. Arrange the zucchini and tomato quarters on top of the chicken and tuck in the figs and olives. Season well with salt and pepper.


Pour the chicken broth mixture over the chicken mixture. Cover and place on the bottom rack of the oven. Let cook undisturbed 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is tender. Remove from the oven and transfer the contents of the Dutch oven to a large serving dish.


Heat a small saucepan over high heat and add the pine nuts and stir to toast about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the nuts over the vegetables and chicken on the serving dish.


Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve, spooning over the sauce in the dish and garnishing each plate with the lemon quarters and good whole grain crusty bread.


Spice Mixture:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Combine the spices in a coffee grinder and grind to a medium-fine powder. Add the kosher salt and pepper.


Recipe by Cindy Karas from:

 “Gourmet Sensations, Healthy Food Alternatives for the Body & Soul”

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Category: Herb Recipes
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