Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Chickpeas

1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
8 bone-in chicken thighs with the skin removed
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ cups chopped yellow onion (2 ½ medium onions)
¼ cup finely chopped garlic (10-12 med cloves)
The Spices:
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Remaining Ingredients:
1 ½ cups low salt chicken broth (I use Swanson)
2 teaspoons honey
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
⅔ cup chopped dried apricots
2 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons oil (to cook almonds)
¾ cup whole blanced almonds
¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Suggested Accompaniment: Couscous or rice

Season the tops of the chicken thighs with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan, top/seasoned side down. Cook for 5 minutes, until nicely browned on the top side only. Transfer to a plate.
Add onion and garlic to pan and sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add spices: cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, ginger, red pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add broth and honey, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a simmer. Carefully pour hot mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in apricots, chickpeas and cinnamon sticks. Arrange chicken on top, browned side facing up. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Discard cinnamon sticks.
To toast the almonds, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook the almonds, tossing constantly, until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels.
Serve chicken tagine over couscous or rice. Sprinkle generously with almonds and cilantro and place a couple of lemon wedges on each plate

Calories Per Serving: 565

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