Moroccan Chicken with Carrot Puree

It’s been a while since I’ve made a fancy dinner. The last one we had was the broiled lobster tails for Valentine’s Day and before that was probably the Pan Roasted Quail. Since Easter is coming in a couple weeks, I’ve been on the lookout for an upscale recipe but I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted. I subscribe to Saveur magazine which is a foodie’s dream.

I love reading their articles about ingredients, their origins, and how you can use them. Some of their recipes and ingredients though can get pretty out of hand and hard to locate. The other day fate dropped a Saveur email into my inbox with a recipe for Moroccan Chicken with Carrot Puree. It was in a section called weeknight dinners, but it seemed pretty involved for during the week.

After reading through, I realized I had all of the ingredients with one exception so I set about Questifying it. If you’re new here, what that entails is simplifying the steps in a recipe, changing up ingredients, and making it quick, easy and low in calories. So I started with the recipe as a base, but overhauled it quite a bit. I also have a crazy confession in case you missed it on Facebook. Sit down, this is a doozy. 😉

I rolled by Whole Foods to check out their dandelion greens since that was the missing ingredient. Since it’s Spring, they’re in season but the price for a bag was ridiculous! I refused to be robbed for a bag of greens so I took to the interwebz and did some research. These are the same exact things I have in abundance in my yard. Sooooo… I harvested my very own dandelion greens for this recipe. LOL, I figure I grow my own herbs so why not try the greens.

Moroccan Chicken with Carrot Puree Moroccan Chicken with Carrot Puree

  • 2 cups (227g) carrots, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup (68g) yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 small navel oranges, (192g after peeling)
  • 20 (60g) pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 16 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup + 4 tsp (80g) harissa paste, divided
  • 1/4 cup lemon white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cups (60g) dandelion greens (you can substitute arugula or spring mix as well)
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts diced

Place the carrots and onions in a small saucepot with a lid. Add the broth and enough water to cover the carrots. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer while covered for 15 minutes until the carrots are really soft. Drain and puree the carrot mixture in a blender or Magic Bullet until smooth. Set aside.

Peel the navel oranges and pull into segments. Slice the olives. Set the olives and onions aside. Preheat your grill and grill the chicken breasts. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, brush the breasts on both sides with 1/4 cup of the harissa paste. Grill until completely cooked and the sauce starts to brown. Remove from the grill.

Mix the remaining 4 tsp harissa with the white balsamic vinegar. Whisk to combine. Spread the carrot puree evenly on each plate in a pretty design if desired. Divide the dandelion greens on one side. Top the greens with the orange segments and olives. Drizzle with the harissa balsamic dressing. Add a chicken breast and garnish with green onions.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 253 calories – 22g protein, 21g carbs, and 9g fat.

Disclaimer: I do my own lawn care so I knew there was no risk of pesticides or other potential poisons in my dandelions. Since I have dogs, I washed them very well a couple times to remove any germs that may have been on there. Keep these things in mind if you plan to use your own dandelions. Make sure you aren’t accidentally ingesting any toxins or stick to the store bought variety just to be safe.

This is the first time I’ve ever had dandelion greens so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I tried a plain leaf beforehand and it was bitter and nasty, so I had a moment of panic but forged ahead. The bitterness was toned down perfectly with the sweetness of the carrots, oranges, and dressing and it was a.MAZE.ing! Seriously. The flavors of everything combined really well and I would definitely make this again.

I can’t vouch for the original recipe since I cut out quite a few steps and several ingredients, but I was seriously impressed with my streamlined version. It was gorgeous on the plate and tasted great. Plus I saved quite a bit of money by harvesting my own salad ingredients and I’ve got a weed free yard now. Not bad for a weeknight meal. 😉

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