Moroccan Chicken with Apricot-and-Olive Relish
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 15 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
This grilled chicken dish transforms the sweet-savory elements of a Moroccan tagineapricots, olives, couscousinto a light, summery meal. The marinade and relish are both flavored with eucalyptus honey, which has a deep, herbal flavor that's delicious with the smoky chicken. Plus, the honey caramelizes on the grill, which makes the chicken extra-crispy.
- 1/4 cup eucalyptus honey
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 8 chicken thighs on the bone, with skin (2 3/4 pounds)
- Boiling water
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 20 green olives, such as Cerignola or Picholine, pitted (1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- In a bowl, whisk the honey with 1/4 cup of the canola oil and the lemon juice, grated ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, pimentón, cayenne, salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken in a glass baking dish. Pour the marinade on top and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Drain the chicken and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet; reserve the marinade. Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the foil and discard any juices from the baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the apricots to cover and let stand until plump, 8 minutes; drain.
- In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, 6 minutes. Add the apricots, olives and the reserved marinade and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately high heat until the marinade is thickened and glazes the apricots and olives, 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.
- Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until charred in spots and the skin is crisp, 6 minutes. Transfer to plates, top with the apricot-olive relish and serve.
Honey can be difficult to pair with wine, but here it's more a grace note than a dominant flavor. Given the sweet-tangy Mediterranean flavors, try pouring a Mediterranean rosé, which will complement the chicken with its red winelike fruitiness and white winelike acidity.