Monday, March 5, 2012

Turning Deals Into Meals - Moroccan Chicken + Curry Roasted Cauliflower

Mark night #1 of my freezer cooking experiment as a success.

Moroccan Chicken, from What's Cookin' Chicago? was a relatively easy meal to prep, turned out delicious, the right combination of sweet (golden raisins) and salty (kalamata olives). I paired the Moroccan Chicken with couscous and curry roasted cauliflower (yummy - recipe follows). AND...I now have a future meal stashed away in the freezer, without any extra cooking effort!

I followed the recipe from What's Cookin', using the same measurements and ingredients, but when it came time for cooking, I put half the food into the slow cooker and the other half into a freezer bag for later use.  When I make this meal again, I might actually consider breaking it into three meals - one to eat immediately and two freezer meals. The chicken thighs I bought at Harris Teeter were gigantic. The hubs and I both ate one for dinner, leaving two leftover. 

In the directions below, I will explain how to make one meal to eat now and one to freeze. 

Moroccan Chicken 
recipe adapted from What's Cookin' Chicago?


2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
2 tablespoons water
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 cup low sodium chicken broth (2 cups if making entire meal at one time)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 (2-inch) strip of lemon peel
1-2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon (3 T if not making half a freezer meal)
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • Combine paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl. Pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towels, then place in the bowl with the spices. Coat chicken with the spices.

  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add half of the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook without moving until lightly browned. Flip chicken and continue to cook until second side of golden. Transfer browned chicken to a plate and set aside. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs. Place 4 cooked chicken thighs in a slow cooker/crockpot. Place four cooked chicken thighs in a gallon sized freezer bag.

  • Add onion and water to the same skillet and return to medium high heat. Cook, scraping the brown bits on the bottom until the onion has softened and begins to brown. Place half the onions in the slow cooker/crockpot and half into the freezer bag.

  • Add half the minced garlic, bay leaves, raisins, lemon peel, olives and ALL chicken broth to the crock pot. Add half the minced garlic, bay leaves, raisins, lemon peel, olives to the freezer bag. DO NOT add chicken broth to freezer bag! 

Raisins and Olives measured into 1/4 cup portions - put one of each into the slow cooker and freezer bag.

  • Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-4 hours.
  • Seal freezer bag. Label and put in freezer.

I double bagged. 

  • To serve, add lemon juice to slow cooker and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate with couscous. Pour sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.
* To Make Frozen Meal - When ready to prepare, defrost completely. Place contents of freezer bag in a slow cooker. Add 1 cup chicken broth to the slow cooker and cover. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-4 hours. To serve, add 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice to dish and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.

 Curry Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon curry powder
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix salt, pepper, curry powder, and olive oil.
  • Add cauliflower and mix to coat.
  • Spread cauliflower evently in a single layer on a baking sheet on in a roasting pan. Be sure that florets are not crowded or touching.
Before Roasting
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting. 

This recipe is linked up at Dishing It Up Recipe Hop!


  1. Looks good. You'll appreciate it even more the second time around. I love freezer meals.

  2. Do you have any favorite freezer meals??

  3. And what do you use for storage? Some things just won't work in a bag. :)

  4. Thank you for linking up at Dishing it Up! I've scheduled this link to post to our facebook page on Monday afternoon.

    I also love freezer meals. I reuse a lot of plastic containers, like margarine tubs, for things with gravy and soups, and then just pop them right out into the pot to thaw. =) I may have to try this one!

  5. This recipe looks delicious! Definitely gonna have to try it :) Thanks for sharing!!