Serious Eats: Recipes

Braised Chicken with Apricots, Green Olives, and Herbed Couscous

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

Chef Michael Schwartz's recipes in Michael's Genuine Food are best described as American, whether they are traditional takes on classic dishes or reinvented riffs on the tried and true plates we grew up with. This Braised Chicken with Apricots, Green Olives, and Herbed Couscous falls into the latter category, a Moroccan-inspired take on chicken stew.

This one starts by flouring and browning meaty chicken thighs in a Dutch oven. Add the stew staples (carrots, onions, and celery) to the pan drippings along with chicken stock, as well as green olives and dried apricots. The casserole goes into the oven and is cooked until, in Schwartz's words, "your kitchen smells amazing." It's not exactly the most accurate time measurement, but in this case it's perfect. Once you start smelling those warm, chickeny aromas, you can be pretty sure that your chicken is falling apart tender and the stew has thickened beautifully.

When taking the stew out of the oven, you'll find that the apricots and onion have melted away almost entirely, leaving the sauce with a slightly sweet, warm richness. The briny olives, carrots, and celery, along with the chunky chicken thighs are just waiting to be scooped over an orange juice steamed couscous flecked with scallions, mint, and cilantro.

Just as comforting as an old-fashioned chicken stew, this one is even better when left to rest in the fridge overnight and served the following day.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Michael's Genuine Food to give away this week.

Adapted from Michael's Genuine Food by Michael Schwartz. Copyright © 2011. Published by Clarkson Potter. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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