There has not been a lot of cooking in my kitchen these past two weeks. We were in house “staging” mode for one week, and then house-selling mode for the second week, and by decree of my real estate agent (bless him), there was to be nothing smelly, nothing backsplash-staining, nothing fridge-grossening until the house was sold. And so we subsisted on a combination of restaurant meals, take-out pizza, sandwiches and ravioli. And vacuumed, bought flowers, dusted and made our beds–a lot.
Lucky for us, we signed a deal on Monday, five days after the house went onto the market. Hooray! What a relief to be back in the kitchen. Just in time for spring barbecue season! Uh, or not so much. At least not in my part of the world. My dad once famously declared “summer never comes when summer comes” to describe the rainy Vancouver summers that I grew up with. And this has certainly been a spring that never came when spring came. If you know what I mean.
With the weather feeling more like November than April, I’ve officially extended the braising, stewing, roasting season for at least a couple more weeks. But spiced things up for “spring” with this quick and easy Moroccan-inspired chicken dish. The recipe uses chicken thighs, which are infinitely tastier than chicken breasts (though I am still working on ways to make chicken breasts taste good, like these ones). And more forgiving too: you can cook the heck out of thighs without turning them into rubber. The thighs are seared to lock in their juices and enhance their flavour, then bathed in a spice-flecked tomatoey sauce. I like to serve them with couscous, partly for the Moroccan-ness of it all, but mostly because couscous goes from dry to dinner-table-ready in minutes. Perfect for a busy weeknight. Add a little steamed broc or a tossed salad and you’ve got a colourful, healthful still-waiting-for-spring supper.