Moroccan chicken is a recipe inspired by the book The Island Escape by Kerry Fisher. It is a great book for reading in the Summer.
I love reading books but sadly do not seem to get as much time to read these days. Recently I had a week off work and managed to pick up a book to read. There is something about the summer that means I tend to pick up what might be considered chick lit instead of my normal crime thrillers.
The book I have been reading recently was The Island Escape by Kerry Fisher. It is the perfect book for the summer, warm and witty and pacey with a hint of the film Shirley Valentine in it. The book tells the story of two friends, Octavia and Roberta. They have been friends since they were rebellious teenagers and know they can rely on each other. Now they are adults they are both married to with children.
The book starts with Roberta finding herself in the police station. Her husband is a bully and his ways have finally driven Roberta to hit him. This gives her the push to finally leave him and now she needs to adapt to life with her teenage daughter in tow. She needs to learn to stand on her own two feet and have confidence in her own abilities.
Octavia is there to support her. Whilst Octavia was always free spirited in her youth, wanting to travel, she is now married to Jonathan. She feels her life has become boring and would love to escape back to her carefree youth. Her mind drifts back to her first true love in Corsica, the man she thought she would marry.
The book has many twists and turns which keep you guessing and you quickly become involved in the characters lives. It is a great read.
These days with any book I read I am always looking for a recipe to cook from it. It is a great way to try new recipes. I struggled to find a recipe at first in this book, most of the references to food were rather vague.
I finally struck gold when Roberta started trying to date other men. She was on a date with a man Jake who was cooking dinner for her at his house. He had made her Moroccan Chicken which sounded like something I could recreate.
When I think of Moroccan food I always think of warm spices and fruit flavours. Food that is slow cooked and full of fragrant flavour, ready to be mopped up with flat breads or served with rice.
I decided to use the slow cooker to allow the dish to cook slowly and bring out the flavour.I added apricots to the tomato base along with a mix of spices which worked really well. The resulting dish was lovely, full of warmth.
The advantage of using the slow cooker was that it allowed me to go out for the day and return to a meal that was ready. After all a day wandering around Souter lighthouse is tiring and I didn’t fancy cooking when I got in. All I had to do when I got in was cook the rice.
Whilst slow cookers are brilliant in the winter for warming stews this was the perfect recipe for a warm day. Not too heavy and full of summer flavour. It would also be nice served with a salad for a light lunch.
As well as chicken I added chickpeas which are often used in middle eastern cookery. This is a good way to make the meal more filling as well as adding extra fibre and iron. I used canned chickpeas to spare me the trouble of soaking and cooking them ahead of time.
The meal was gorgeous, full of flavour and would be perfect for a date night, as in the book.