Moroccan Chicken

Sweet and spicy, with the traditional combination of poultry and fruit flavors.

Serves 6.

6 boneless chicken breast halves, excess fat removed (about 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup fresh orange juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup black olives, such as Kalamata or oil-cured
½ to 1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

1. Place the chicken, oil, orange juice, garlic, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, and sugar in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and no longer than 8. Discard the excess marinade.

2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the chicken breasts, skin side down, one at a time, allowing the pan to reheat for about 30 seconds between additions. Cook until deeply browned, about 3 minutes on each side, basting all the while. Lower the heat to medium-low until the chicken is fully cooked , about 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer the chicken to a heated serving platter.

3. Reheat the skillet, add the olives, remaining marinade and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken and serve immediately. Garnish with the parsley.

Note: If you want to hold the chicken in the oven, omit the last step and instead of finishing the chicken in the skillet, finish it in the oven at 500 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)