Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chicken Tangine with Couscous - 9/22/08

This past week started off with a Moroccan/Middle Eastern dish, chicken tangine:

Chicken Tangine

I made this with 3 bone-in chicken breasts, but a full chicken would work well. Just make sure you piece the chicken and adjust the cooking time for the individual parts. Salt and pepper the chicken and cook it in a heavy skillet, skin-side down, until browned nicely. Remove the chicken from the skillet and start cooking some chopped shallots in butter in a large pot until soft. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric (careful, it will get under your fingernails and turn them orange), and paprika. Add the chicken to the pot with some saffron and salt, turning the chicken to make sure the chicken is evenly coated. Add about a cup of water and simmer for a half hour. Turn the chicken and add some orange marmalade, cinnamon stick, thyme, cilantro, and chopped apricots. Simmer this, covered, for about 10 minutes, then uncovered for about 10 additional minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

In a small pan, heat some oil in a skillet, then stir in pine nuts, turmeric and paprika. Cook until browned and remove from pan. Also, at this point, I made some couscous according to the package directions (it only takes 5 minutes once the water is boiling). Transfer the chicken to a platter and, if the sauce is not thick, reduce it down. Discard the herb sprigs and cinnamon stick. Stir in chopped cilantro, spoon sauce over chicken, and sprinkle pine nuts over top. One thing I love about this type of cuisine is the balance of sweet and savory, with the nice cinnamon kick.

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