Moroccan Beef-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Orange Sauce

This Moroccan favorite is a wonderful way to cook Chicken Breasts.

Cooking the chicken Breasts on a stovetop makes them ideally moist and tender. These chicken breasts are elegant enough even for a very festive occasion. This is a perfect dish for Passover too.

Moroccans inherited cooking with nuts from our Spanish neighbors.  If you can’t have nuts, substitute a large grated apple for the nuts.

Do not be deterred by the step where you have to tie the chicken breasts with kitchen string. It secures the tight shape, keeps the stuffing in place, and takes only a couple of minutes.

The recipe for these chicken breasts is included in my first cookbook, Levana’s Table. The recipe serves 4, but you can easily double it.

If you would rather keep these chicken breasts all poultry and no beef, no problem using ground turkey or chicken for the stuffing.

Photo via https://kareninthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients

Stuffing:

  • 1⁄2 small onion
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, including stems
  • 1⁄2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup finely ground unblanched almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (during Passover, use potato starch)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded flat

Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1⁄3 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3⁄4 cup dry white wine
  • Good pinch of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Instructions

To make the stuffing: Grind the onion and parsley in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the ground mixture to a bowl, and add all stuffing ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Form 4 logs of stuffing that are as long as the chicken is wide. Place a stuffing log on a long side of a breast and roll the chicken up tightly, encasing the stuffing completely. Tie each bundle with kitchen string in two places. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and stuffing.

Bring all the sauce ingredients to a boil in a wide bottom pot.  Add the chicken breasts, seam side down. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, turning the chicken breasts over half way through the cooking, so they are uniformly coated in the sauce. Transfer the chicken breasts to a platter with a slotted spoon, and cut off the strings. Check the liquids in the pot: you want to consistency of maple syrup. If the liquids are too thin, raise the flame and cook the liquid uncovered for a minute or two longer, making sure you don't allow the liquids to evaporate. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts. Serve hot.

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