Hello my darlings!
Here I go, posting one of my all-time favorite recipes for all of you to enjoy (and the reason it’s my favorite is because I’ve gotten to enjoy this recipe with so many of you – either at the office or at our home!).
Many of you have been incredibly supportive of my cooking experiments and have so graciously allowed me to experiment on oh-so-many of you! You, my friends, are the reason why I’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to just post my first recipe to get this blog going. Life always has twists and turns in store for all of us. As my twist played out, hubby and I started a company just after I had decided and announced to start this blog on facebook! Which basically meant that this little project of mine was put on hold….UNTIL, a few of you reached out to me constantly and pretty much convinced me that I had to do this. I’ve been wanting to share my recipes with all of you, and I would LOVE for you to feel the same passion I feel in the kitchen.
Thank you for reading my first post on this just-for-fun blog! :). I have not been able to design this blog nor spend the time on it that I wanted to, so I’m just posting to get started. I look forward to growing this blog with all of your input and feedback, and REALLY hope that all of you who try my recipes will tell me how your experience was!
Moroccan-style Chicken Tagine with Dried Plums, Apricots and Garbanzo Beans
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 8 chicken thighs (or drumsticks for lower cost meal)
- freshly ground black pepper (or regular ground pepper, although there’s nothing like the fresh-ground taste!)
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
- 6 cloves or garlic, finely chopped (or 6 teaspoons of store-bought minced garlic)
- 3 tablespoons of harissa*
- 1 tablespoon of ras al-hanout*
- Large pinch saffron, soaked in 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained (or 3 chopped fresh tomatoes) – there is no taste difference with either
- 1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas(a.k.a. garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained (15-ounce can)
- 3/4 cup dried apricots and dried plums, sliced into half moons
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- Optional garnishes: chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, greek yogurt, tzatziki, chopped cucumber (for freshness)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Meanwhile, heat canola oil (or any vegetable oil) in a tagine (or any dutch oven if you don’t own a tagine). Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides and place in the pot once the oil is hot (it should sizzle when the chicken hits the oil). Cook both sides until very light golden brown – you do not want to fully cook it at this point since it will finish cooking in the oven. This is what I call a ‘light-fry!’.
Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
[Don’t worry if pieces of the chicken skin are left in the pan – they will only add flavor!]
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pot and add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the harissa and ras al-hanout and cook another 30 seconds. Add the saffron along with the liquid it is soaking in, cinnamon stick, paprika, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and dried plums and apricots (or whichever dried stone-fruit you want to use). Bring to a simmer.
Place the chicken that was set aside into the mixture, add the chicken broth, and bring to a simmer once again. (Note: Make sure not to over-fill the tagine or pot, otherwise the chicken will take longer to cook!)
Cover and cook on the stovetop or in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until the chicken is tender and registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (which means it is fully cooked and safe to eat!). If you want super-tender chicken, don’t keep opening the lid of the pot as it defeats the purpose of the ‘tagine’ effect of the
Garnishes are up to you, but some of my favorites are: greek yogurt, tzatziki, chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, and even chopped cucumber for freshness!
WINE PAIRING SUGGESTION: Any full-bodied red wine such as a cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir!
The finished product should look something like this! 🙂 And if it doesn’t, no worries! As long as it tastes good 🙂