Slow Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Stew is a hearty meal in a bowl, full of chicken, chickpeas, veggies, and subtle Moroccan flavors.
I thought about calling this Slow Cooker Moroccan Stew, but I thought that might sound too complicated, so I went with Slow Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Stew, because, well, that's really what it is. There are a few Moroccan inspired flavors here, but nothing too exotic or hard to find. The addition of cinnamon, lemon, and apricots lend a very subtle hint of Moroccan flavor and give it an extra kick.
I love ladling this hearty stew into big bowls for a super easy, filling meal. I serve Andrew's with some bread on the side to add little more substance to the meal, though spooning it over quinoa or rice would also be nice. It's really good on its own, too, and the perfect one-pot wonder for any night of the week.
Elle, as usual, prefers her's deconstructed. There's nothing quite like picking through the stew with a fork to separate out the chicken and chickpeas for before sitting down for our meal, but I find it's worth it since she's trying new flavors and eating what we're eating, albeit in a different form. Either way, be sure to serve this stew with chopped scallions, cilantro, and hot sauce it you like things spicy!
1 | Use chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or a combination of the two.
2 | Use half the amount of chicken (about 1.5 pounds) and an extra can of chickpeas if you want to go lighter on the meat and bump up the fiber even more.
3 | Pull out a portion or two of the stew prior to adding the spinach for people who don't want "green things" in their stew. Serve a salad or raw veggies on the side, instead.
4 | Deconstruct the stew for resistant eaters (you may have to use a fork to pick each part out, but I've found this effort to be worth it when it comes to convincing finicky eaters to try something new). Think chicken, chickpeas, and dried apricots served separately on a plate, a little bowl of broth, and maybe some bread or rice, too.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free
Slow Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Stew
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
1 quart (32 oz) chicken or vegetable stock
1-3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, trimmed
½ cup chopped dried apricots
4 cups baby spinach
Green onion, chopped
1. Combine the onion, garlic, carrots, chickpeas, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, chicken stock, salt, cumin, cinnamon, and chicken in a 6-quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is tender.
3. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. Add the shredded chicken, along with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the spinach, and the chopped apricots back to the slow cooker, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt and lemon juice to taste. Let sit 5 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt and the apricots to soften.
4. Serve hot, with rice, crusty bread, or on its own. Top with green onion, cilantro, and hot sauce, if desired.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Notes: I used a 6-quart slow cooker to test this recipe.
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