February 2, 2010

Fruited Chicken Tagine

Fruited Chicken Tagine

[Moroccan tagines often combine lamb or chicken with a medley of ingredients or seasonings: olives, quinces, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, nuts, with fresh or preserved lemons, with or without honey, with or without a complexity of spices. Traditional spices that are used to flavor tajines include ground cinnamon, saffron, ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika, pepper, as well as the famous spice blend Ras el hanout]


I made this for friends this weekend and it was delicious! Had no apricots on hand so used dried mangoes and dried apple slices instead.

Ingredients:
8 boneless chicken thighs (Remove all fat, bones and skin; keep in one piece)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
1 tsp. ground turmeric
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup dried apricots cut into quarters [note: I had no apricots so substituted dried mangoes and dried apple]
1/2 cup prunes (dried plums) cut into quarters
1/4 cup orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup of water mixed with 2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Preparation:
Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and the cayenne. Heat oil over high heat in a skillet. Add chicken a few pieces at a time and brown on all sides. Transfer the browned chicken to a 5-7 qt. slow cooker.

In the same skillet, add the onion, turmeric, garlic, cumin, ginger and brown sugar and saute until the onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the contents of the skillet to the crock pot. Add apricots, plums, orange juice, zest and broth to the crock pot.

Cover and cook on high heat for 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 hours until the chicken is tender and the fruit is plump. [a small amount of liquid will remain in the pot].

Add the cornstarch-water mixture to the crock pot and cook for another 30-45 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit.

Serve on a bed of rice or couscous.

Makes ~6 delicious servings
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