Moroccan Tagine

My old college friend, Laurent, with whom I’ve become reacquainted courtesy of FB, shared this traditional Moroccan recipe.  While I haven’t tried it yet, I can’t wait to attempt it!  I imagine that once the flavors meld, it will be a delightful dish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 chicken breasts (but could use thighs as well)
  • 1 large onion
  • 15 dried prunes
  • 15 dried apricots
  • 15 dried dates
  • 15 small potatoes
  • 1 bowl of tea
  • chicken broth (2 cups of water)
  • 1 spoonful of honey
  • a small bunch of fresh cilantro
  • salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, ground ginger, a little bit of saffron
  • 500g of couscous

DIRECTIONS

Couscous:

In a large salad bowl pour your couscous and add 1/2 glass of water and a spoonful of olive oil and mix by hand.

Let it rest for a while. Then steam cook it for 15 minutes in a “couscoussier” (special strainer for couscous placed over the pot with boiling water).

Let it sit for 20 minutes but add 1/2 l of water. Add salt. Place in your salad bowl with 1 spoonful of olive oil. Mix it well. Steam cook it again for 5 minutes and then mixh again to ensure no lumps. Alternatively, you can microwave it. I’m not sure of the process but I’m sure instructions would be on couscous package.

Tajine:

  1. Soak dried fruit in bowl of tea
  2. Steam cook your potatoes until firm and then peel them and cut them in thick slices
  3. In a large pot, sautee the chicken
  4. When golden, add the onions and cook for a bit.
  5. Add the spices.
  6. Dilute your honey in the broth and add to the pot
  7. Add the soaked dried fruit and the potatoes.   Let it simmer at high temperature to reduce the juice for 30 minutes then cover and simmer at medium temperature.
  8. If you have a tajine plate, place the couscous and the tajine in the plate, cover and place in oven for another 30 to 45 minutes at medium temperature. Otherwise, just leave it to simmer in your pot but make sure bottom doesn’t burn.
  9. 20 minutes before serving add some freshly cut cilantro and keep some to add on top of each serving for flavour and decor.

Make sure the juice doesn’t reduce too much and you may want to keep some separately to pour over each plate so that it isn’t too dry. Enjoy! It takes about 2 and a half hours to prepare.

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