A healthy, gluten free chicken dinner full of lively Moroccan flavours.
- 600 grams skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup salt (table salt or sea salt)
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Moroccan Spice Mixture (see note)
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 carrot, sliced thinly crosswise
- 2 apricots, pit removed and chopped
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
In a saucepan, combine sugar through bay leaves with 4 cups of water over medium heat.
Stir until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. You can use some ice cubes if you like.
Place chicken breasts in a bowl or baking dish and cover with brine.
Let sit, covered in foil, in refrigerator thirty minutes to one hour.
In another saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a boil.
Stir in quinoa and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Remove chicken from refrigerator and discard brine.
Rinse chicken breasts under cool water and pat dry with paper towels.
Put chicken back in baking dish and coat well with the olive oil.
Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over chicken and massage to cover surface evenly. Cover tops and bottoms. Also try to work it into any nooks and crannies of the breast.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes without disturbing it.
While chicken is baking, combine cooled quinoa with everything from the carrot to the mint.
Toss and top with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
At 20 minutes, remove chicken from oven and check temperature. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°.
If it’s not quite there yet, put it back in the oven and check it every 3 to 5 minutes until it reaches 160° in the thickest parts of all the breasts.
(Midlife Croissant.com, 2016)