Need a new healthy chicken dinner? Try this oven baked chicken breast recipe full of lively Moroccan flavors. Serve it with a gluten free quinoa salad loaded with fresh herbs, juicy fruits and vegetables and crunchy slivered almonds.
I originally published this Moroccan Chicken Breast Recipe on Eazy Peazy Mealz where I’ve been a contributor.
People still have recipe boxes, right?
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This chicken dinner is so moist and full of flavor you and your whole family are going. To. Plotz.
It adds a little bit of time onto your dinner prep but man, oh man! It’s worth it. It adds so much flavor and keeps those tender chicken breasts nice and moist until they’re perfectly cooked.
If you’re new to brining and want the full scoop, here’s a great article from Huffington Post.
I’m also thrilled by all the fresh herbs and produce in this recipe. The quinoa salad is chock full of mint and cilantro, juicy apricots and crunchy carrots. And the slivered almonds simply take it to the next level. The leftovers, if there are any, make an easy pack-and-go vegetarian lunch.
And the rest of this chicken breast dinner’s flavor comes from the easy Moroccan spice mixture I created for my Moroccan Spiced Nuts Trail Mix. It’s a great addition to any game day snack bar so check it out.
A healthy, gluten free chicken dinner full of lively Moroccan flavors.
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup salt (table salt or sea salt)
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Moroccan Spice Mixture (see note)
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 carrot, sliced thinly crosswise
- 2 apricots, pit removed and chopped
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
In a saucepan, combine sugar through bay leaves with 4 cups of water over medium heat.
Stir until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. You can use some ice cubes if you like.
Place chicken breasts in a bowl or baking dish and cover with brine.
Let sit, covered in foil, in refrigerator thirty minutes to one hour.
In another saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a boil.
Stir in quinoa and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Remove chicken from refrigerator and discard brine.
Rinse chicken breasts under cool water and pat dry with paper towels.
Put chicken back in baking dish and coat well with the olive oil.
Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over chicken and massage to cover surface evenly. Cover tops and bottoms. Also try to work it into any nooks and crannies of the breast.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes without disturbing it.
While chicken is baking, combine cooled quinoa with everything from the carrot to the mint.
Toss and top with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
At 20 minutes, remove chicken from oven and check temperature. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°.
If it's not quite there yet, put it back in the oven and check it every 3 to 5 minutes until it reaches 160° in the thickest parts of all the breasts.
Moroccan Spice Mixture = 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 1½ teaspoons cinnamon, 1½ teaspoons coriander, 1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon allspice, ¼ teaspoon ground mustard seed. Store leftover in air tight container in spice cupboard.
Calorie information is approximate and will vary according to serving size.