As my curiousity always gets the better of me, I read about these strangely domed shaped
dishes called tagines or tajine a while ago and added it to my kitchen gadget, must buy list. I decided to purchase one
this summer and finally got a chance to use it this week. It is basically a clay dish
that is used to make slow cooked, savory stews and requires little water/liquid.
This makes sense when you learn they originated from Northern Africa/Morroco, where obviously water is in short supply.
They are typically cooked over hot coals, but any authentic tajine can be used on the stovetop,
just check the label. Typically the dish includes sliced meat, vegetables or dried fruit with
spices like ginger, cumin. tumeric, paprika, chili and cinnamon and often served with couscous.
There are many different variations and you can make the dish without the tajine in something like a dutch oven,
but you just have to use more liquid. For my first attempt, I read a few recipes
and then kinda made up my own mix based on what we had available in the house, trying
to stay true to the traditional flavors (pretty much my M.O. of cooking). I love these full spice dishes, especially in the
winter, so I hope you like it!
Chicken Apricot, Date and Sage Tagine
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp tumeric
1 T grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chipotle flakes
2 T fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp salt
8 chicken thighs
*Dark meat is better for longer cooking times, but chicken breast can be substituted, it just might be drier
*I also use my Jaccard meat tenderizer on basically everything, it really helps with the flavor getting all throughout the meat!
1.5 T lemon zest
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup chopped medjool dates
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped thin strips
1/2 - 1 cup cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup chicken stock if using tajine or 1.5 cups if using dutch oven
1 cup couscous
1.5 cup chicken stock or water
2 T pine nuts (optional)
1 T sage (optional)
2 T olive oil
(Use package directions for preparation)
1. Heat coriander, paprika, tumeric, ginger, cinnamon, chipotle, sage and oil until fragrant on med-high.
Start with 1/2 cup of oil and add more if season becomes too dry, you want it to be able to coat the chicken easily.
2. Add chicken, coat with spice mixture and cook until golden (about 5 -7 minutes), stir occasionally.
3. Add carrots, apricots, dates, honey, lemon zest, onion and stock, cover and let cook on low for about 30 - 40 minutes. Sauce should thicken.
I also usually try the sauce near the end and add any additional salt or seasoning I think it needs.
4. Within the last 5 - 10 minutes, prepare the couscous according to the package, I used stock instead of water and added in
more olive oil, pine nuts and sage.
5. Serve and enjoy!