Monday, October 17, 2011

Tagine Tuesday?

I am always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to cook things, my family (who knows this) gave me a very cool birthday gift this year (aka a new way to cook stuff), a tagine.  Tagines are a North African/Moroccan earthen ware pot that traditionally is made out of heavy clay.  Not all tagines are glazed but some are beautifully painted and some are glazed, thankfully mine is, it made clean up a breeze.  These days you can find a fantastic tagine at any good kitchen store in material ranging from clay to enameled cast iron.  Tagines are great for braising tougher cuts of meat, they slowly let the contents simmer away in their juices while the dome provides a crock-pot like environment where the steam stays trapped inside the dish.  The result: deliciousness!  

Image from Emily Avila

Last week I was feeling inspired (and needed to use a whole chicken I'd purchased) and cut up a chicken and veggies and seasoned it before I went to CrossFit.  There is nothing better than walking in the door after a hard-fought workout to the smells of a simmering dinner.  The possibilties for the tagine are endless, the spice, protien and veggie combos are infinite, I can't wait to cook up something else new, I have a feeling that I might start seeing the tagine in action a lot more.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 chicken, 3-4 lbs, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 lemon, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 cup green olives, pitted
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dried apricots

1. Combine all the spices in a large bowl. Pat dry the chicken pieces and put in the bowl, coat well with the spice mixture. Let the chicken stand for one hour in the spices.
2. In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces, sprinkle lightly with salt (go easy on the salt, the olives and lemons are salty), and brown, skin side down for five minutes. (If you are using a clay tagine, you will skip the browning step, and bring oven up to 325F.) Lower the heat to medium-low, add the garlic, onion, apricot and liquids.  If using clay tagine, bake in oven for 3 hours instead of simmering.


Chef E said...

I love my tagine! Happy birthday, and love that olive shot!

Hubby however does not like olives, so I have to curb cooking them in his side of the tagine :)

Tangled Noodle said...

What a wonderful birthday gift! Tagines are one of those pieces of cookware that double as decorative art - no hiding this in a kitchen cabinet. I can just imagine the delicious aromas that you came home to. 8-)

Kerstin said...

What a perfect present! Looks amazing!

Dee said...

I am amazed by the variety of Tagines, they are so useful. Glad you are enjoying the birthday gift. This recipe was delicious as I recall.