Sunday, January 4, 2015

Chicken Tagine with Olives, Almonds, and Yellow Raisins

Use a tagine to cook this dish, which is a shallow clay pot with a tightly fitting conical lid, that very efficiently captures steam, which drips back down into the dish. If you have a tagine, you will not need to add any liquid- the liquid from the onions, lemons, and chicken will form a delicious sauce. If you use another kind of pot, it should be heavy, with a tight fitting lid.
  • 4 T Olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, thickly sliced
  • 4 chicken thighs and 4 legs, preferably free range (or 6 large thighs)
  • salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and barely crushed
  • 2 lemons, in thin wedges
  • saffron
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • pitted Moroccan salted olives, ~ 16
  • whole almonds, sliced lengthwise to make large-faced halves, ~ 16
  • yellow raisins, ~ handful
Saute the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for around 15 minutes, until starting to become golden and tender.

Add chicken pieces, skin side down, pushing aside onion so that skin will brown. Cook over a medium heat until nicely browned.

Salt well, turn over chicken pieces, and salt other side. Tuck in garlic, lemon, saffron, and cinnamon. Top with olives, almonds, and raisins. Cover, and cook over a low heat, simmering, for about 1.5 hours, until very tender.

The tagine will conserve liquid so well that you may have to cook uncovered for a while to evaporate some of the liquid that will bubble over. In another type of pot you may need to add bits of water.

Serve with whole wheat couscous, prepared by adding 2.5 cups boiling water and a little salt to 1.5 cups couscous in a bowl, covering, and letting it sit for 10 minutes.

Couscous
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • a few capers, optional
Combine above ingredients in a heavy ceramic bowl, pour over 1 & 2/3 cup boiling water, cover with a plate, and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

A great summer salad to go with this is cucumber and tomato. Use ripe tomatoes (beefsteak are good, but any ripe tomato will work including cherry tomatoes) and small pickling cucumbers or Persian cucumbers. Peel the cucumbers, cut vegetables into small chunks, toss with extra virgin olive oil and a little salt. You can add a few fresh mint, basil, or dill leaves if desired

1 comment:

  1. I think that this dish can also be perfectly prepared in the usual form for baking and it will not get worse.

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