A tagine is a Moroccan clay pot used for long slow cooking or braising of succulent stews most often served with couscous. This is an Americanized version of a typical dish that one can easily prepare at home. I love the sweet and spicy contrast found in many dishes from this region and often add a bit of harissa.
- 1 cup uncooked couscous
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded thin and cut into 1 inch strips
- 1 (14 ounce) can99% fat-free chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups butternut squash, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium turnip, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1⁄2 cup dried apricot, cut into thin slivers (the original calls for Turkish but I have also used California apricots with good results)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons dried currants
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Prepare couscous as directed on package. (Some couscous calls for a 1:1 ratio of couscous and water, others 2 parts water to 1 part water.).
- Combine flour, paprika, corriander, salt, cinnamon and cumin. Dredge the chicken strips in the flour mixture, shaking off and saving the excess coating.
- Mix the remaining flour into the broth, removing any lumps.
- In a non-stick large pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browed, about 5 minutes, Transfer cooked chicken to a plate.
- Add the broth to the pan along with the squash, turnips and apricots. Bring to a low boil, lower heat a touch and simmer about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Return the chicken to the pan with the vinegar, apple, currants, chickpeas and honey. Simmer until the chicken os cooked through and the apples are tender, about 5 minutes.
- To serve, place the couscous onto a large plattter or individual serving bowls. Create a small hollow in the center. Pour the chicken in the center and serve.
I found that the cooking and preparation times for this recipe are way out -- it took about twice as long as stated! (Just dicing a squash takes forever; and simmering 'til tender takes at least 15 minutes, covered... but I digress!) Despite this and that, whilst the recipe isn't complicated, there are a lot of ingredients to play with, it was surprisingly tasty and worth the hassle. The honey was somewhat lost and it could have done with a few more currants; but by in large, it was good -- the apple is a great addition. (Oh, by the way, if you don't get canned chickpeas, they need to soak overnight: I didn't realise this, but managed to make them reasonable by microwaving the Hell out of them!) Finally, don't forget the cinnamon -- it's mentioned as an ingredient, but doesn't show in the recipe: I assume it goes in at step 2.
This is Great comfort food. Has many flavors mainly sweetness which overpowered the spices. I missed the saltiness in this dish from either nuts, green or black olives, preserved lemons would have given it a nice touch. Also some cilantro or parsley would brighten up the dish. Thanks Toni! OK I`m weird I heated this for breakfast with the addition of green olives, almond slices and cilantro. I very Highly recommend to add these to you dish. Loved it. Thanks again Toni.
I loosly followed the recipe, but it came out sweet, nicely spiced and delicious. I floured and cooked the chicken breasts whole and kept them separate. I made the sauce on its own and thickened with a little cornstarch and water to preserve the color. Then poured the sauce over the chicken at the end.