Enough with turkey now. Why not make a delicious chicken tagine which brings to mind all those luscious flavors of Morocco? Tagines are slow-cooked meat stews with dried fruit and/or almonds and lots of exotic spices. Here’s a great recipe. And yes – you can substitute the chicken with turkey breast and thigh pieces.
Accompany this chicken tagine with a side of Couscous with Zucchini, Yellow Squash & Red Chili Peppers (previously published on this website).
Prep time: 20 minutes (to prepare ingredients)
Cook time: 1-1/2 to 2 hours
Serves 4 to 6
1/3 cup olive oil
2-1/2 to 3 pounds chicken breasts (about 3 half-breasts), skinned and cut in half (to make 6 pieces)
1 large yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely minced
1 cup pureed fresh tomatoes
4 to 5 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger root
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup dried apricots, halved
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1. In an 8 to 10-quart stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil.
2. Add the chicken breast pieces. Fry the chicken pieces on medium-high heat until they are browned all over, about 6 to 8 minutes.
3. After the chicken pieces are browned, stir in the onion, bell peppers and ginger root.
4. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes.
5. After 2 minutes, stir in the tomatoes and 1-1/2 cups of the broth.
6. Bring the chicken and liquid to a high simmer and cook on medium-high heat for 15 minutes.
7. After 15 minutes, stir in cinnamon, cumin, paprika, chili pepper flakes, ginger, the sugar with 1 cup of the broth.
8. Cook the chicken on medium-high heat for an additional hour or so, stirring occasionally. As the tagine becomes dense, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup broth every 10 to 15 minutes.
9. After one hour, taste the tagine. If the flavors are too concentrated, add 1 cup water and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.
10. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the apricots and cranberries.
11. After 5 minutes, taste the tagine. If needed, add salt.
12. Serve Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Cranberries and a side of Couscous with Zucchini, Yellow Squash & Red Chili Peppers.
Note: To substitute the chicken with turkey, cook the turkey tagine. for at least one more hour. Add one additional quart of broth in 1-cup increments, every 10 to 15 minutes.
Text and Photograph ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real