Moroccan Chicken With Carrot Puree

First of all, let me apologize in advance. These next few months are going to be nuts. I can’t reveal all the details now, but let me just say I’m working on something… very sweet. It’s good. So good I know that it will make up for a few months of scarce posting. You’ll have to trust me on this one.

But for now, I give you this dish. This is one of those dinners that comes together beautifully; one of those meals you could see yourself enjoying in a restaurant.

Even better… it comes with a built in side dish.

I often spend so much time seeking out recipes to cook each week that I completely forget about sides. Which is ok with me, I’m a light eater. But poor Taylor often gets up from the dinner table still hungry. The main dish alone just doesn’t fill him up. Or worse yet, we turn a side dish into a main dish and eat just that. For dinner. No wonder I regularly catch him breaking out the pretzels or popcorn at 9:00 at night.

But this dish did it all for me. Pairing a deliciously spiced chicken with a tart and buttery orange sauce, baby greens (or dandelion greens if you can find them), and a sweet carrot puree. Granted, it’s not the easiest dish to put together, but would be uber impressive to serve for dinner guests.

The puree itself was an interesting concept. When I think puree I always think of the infamous pea puree incident from last season’s Top Chef. (I’m totally going to have to make some pea puree this spring for that reason alone.) This carrot puree, on the other hand, is like candy. After boiling the carrots in broth, then tossing with some rich caramelized onions, the result is incredibly sweet, highlighting the the natural sugars from the carrots and the onions. It’s a concept that could be carried far beyond just this dish.

Puree: not just for babies anymore.

Moroccan Chicken With Carrot Puree

Yield: 6 servings

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

6 boneless skin-on chicken breasts, pounded 3/4" thick

16 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 cups chicken broth

2 lbs. carrots, cut into 1/4" rounds

1 large white onion, minced

1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 peeled oranges, segmented

3/4 cup plus 2 tsp. harissa

2 tsp. sherry vinegar

3 oz. dandelion greens or mixed baby greens

3/4 cup pitted oil-cured black olives, roughly chopped

2 shallots, thinly sliced


Directions:

Put chicken into a dish; drizzle with 3 tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Bring broth to a boil in a 6-qt. pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots; cook until tender, 15–20 minutes. Drain. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a 4-qt. pot over high heat. Add onions; cook until soft, 4–5 minutes. Add carrots; cook for 6–8 minutes. Puree in a food processor with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper; keep warm.


Heat orange juice in a 2-qt. pan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced by half, 12–15 minutes. Whisk in butter; season with salt and pepper. Add orange segments; set sauce aside.


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a grill pan or a heavy cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 3 batches, add chicken, skin side down; cook until crisp, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken, skin side up, to a baking sheet. Brush with 3/4 cup harissa. Bake until cooked, 6–8 minutes.


In a bowl, whisk together remaining oil and harissa with sherry vinegar. Add greens, olives, and shallots; toss. Divide carrot puree between 6 plates; top each with salad and a chicken breast. Spoon sauce over each.


Recipe from Saveur.


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19 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. As soon as I saw the title of this post, I immediately thought of Top Chef too! I love the combination of flavours in this dish, so fresh and spring like! This is such a wonderful blog and is full of inspiration.

  2. This sounds interesting!

  3. I love Moroccan flavors. Interesting, and colorful!

  4. Looks like a restaurant meal and I bet it tastes even better

  5. i agree that this looks like a restaurant meal.
    i love how bright and beautiful your photos are. perfect blog.

  6. Lately, I have not been able to get enough harissa. I have cooked just about every recipe I have found with it. This looks like an amazing and delicious well balanced dinner.

  7. Okay, Top Chef thing made me laugh, because I also thought of that. We must be a bunch of Top Chef fans. I know it’s about the only show I actually take the time to plan and watch.

  8. I agree with “what katie’s baking”, your photos are lively & beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Totally laughed at the Top Chef reference as well, and can’t wait for the finale tonight! But 16 tblsp of olive oil plus butter? I better be wearing my stretchy pants for this one :)

  10. Bishop’s in Cool Springs has a carrot souffle on their menu sometimes and it is awesome! Therefore, I need to make this :-)

  11. This sounds SOOO good. And it looks just beautiful. I’m a huge sides fan, and carrot puree is something I’ve never tried. Thanks to you, that might soon change!

  12. Those bright colors! Perfect for spring. I love pea puree, always make it with feta and mint at home. And talking about eating a side dish as a main dish, that’s what I often do with the pea puree!

  13. This looks lovely. Pureed foods are so comforting. I just made some pureed celery root and it was smooth, creamy… the ultimate comfort food. Thanks for sharing, and good luck with your project!

  14. Looks wonderful – great use of flavours.
    :-) Mandy

  15. The chicken sounds divine but I made A LOT of puree last night for a certain little boy currently trying to eat a plastic book. So I think I’ll have to give the puree a miss. The kitchen is still smattered with it as it is…

  16. The puree alone was divine! Thanks so much for posting! I had it with Thai-flavored meatballs (with cilantro and garlic)–the contrast was wonderful.

  17. Sometimes I have those chicken-cauliflower-potato dinners because that is all I have on hand. I love the idea of carrot puree – I always have carrots around. What a great way to add color to a meal!

  18. I have to say that this looks exquisite – even coming from a girl who doesn’t really like carrots.

    Love the combination of this dish, so much so that I’ve featured it at my blog :)

  19. I made this for my carrot-hating son. I didn’t mention what it was and he liked it! I’m glad to know I can get some beta carotene in him from time to time this way. thank you, Arlie Jarels

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