Moroccan Chickpea Chicken Stew

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Both girls were sick today.  Last night, Angela had an ear ache that was so severe that she was whimpering and writhing in bed.  As Audrey had often done in the past when she was sick, she asked for bowtie pasta in chicken broth with a little lemon juice squeezed into it.  For times like this, I always keep bowtie pasta and chicken stock in the pantry.

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The soup that cures almost anything

They stayed in bed for the whole day and got much better by evening.  Angela had cabin fever after being in bed for so long and we decided to go out for a drive at around 9:30pm.  We crowded into the car in our PJs.  Peter took us to the twisty part of Lombard street, and then to Coit Tower.  Living in this beautiful city, we tend to take for granted what others fly thousands of miles to see.  We parked on top of the telegraph Hill and marveled at the breathtaking night view of the incredible city that we call home and felt very blessed.  We talked about The House on Telegraph Hill, a moody black and white mystery film that we saw not long ago.  The girls couldn’t believe that the director of the film also directed The Sound of Music. The two films looked and felt so completely different.  The one thing they shared was that they were both done masterfully.

It so happened that the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship tonight — the first in 40 years —  and we were greeted by a lot of half drunken celebrants along the way home.  We left the house with no expectations other than driving around to rid the girls’ cabin fever, but we came back feeling quite exhilarated by the adventure.  

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Moroccan Chickpea Chicken Stew:

1 large chicken breast, cut to bite size

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1/2 large onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 can garbanzo bean, drained

8 to 10 kalamata olives, chopped

1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup organic chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)

1/4 cup chopped flat leave parsley

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Ingredients for the Marinade:

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or taste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

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preparation:

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a large mixing bowl.  Add chicken pieces into the bowl and mix to coat completely.  (I used my hand to mix it.)  Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a wok or a pan on medium high.  Sauté the onion for 2 to 3 minutes, add tomato, tomato paste and continue to stir for 2 to 3 minutes, add garlic and finally bell pepper.  Sauté until slightly caramelized.  Pour in the chicken stock, paprika, cumin and the chickpea and bring to boil.  Turn the stove to medium low and let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add more chicken stock if it gets too thick.

The stove back to medium high and add the chicken.  Stir to mix the meat thoroughly with the rest of the stew and close the lid.  Turn off stove and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.  Make sure the chicken meat is cooked through before taking it off the stove.  If you have the kind of stove that doesn’t retain heat after it is turned off, make sure the meat is just cooked through before turning off the stove. 

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

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