Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Tangine

I got this recipe over 8 years ago from a co-worker of mine in London. She had brought in some that her mom had made and shared it with me. I asked for the recipe which she shared with me, but I had never made it. Every time I saw that recipe in my recipe collection I kept telling myself to make it and finally this blog gave me an excuse to make it. Why did I wait to long??? This is a question I ask myself when I've had good things sitting in front of me for awhile and then I finally take action and kick myself for not making it/tasting it/buying it sooner. This is like Indian and Thai food - why didn't I try them way before I did? What was I scared of? What took me so long to get me out my comfort zone?

I don't know why I haven't made it until now. It was really good and Jordan kept raving about it. Beware - IT IS SPICY!!! You can definitely turn down the heat. I put in the full teaspoon of cayenne pepper and my mouth was on fire...the kids didn't even get to try it, not that Matthew would have touched it with a ten foot pole anyways. I'll definitely be making this again, but turning down the spice level just a bit. It's perfect accompainment is couscous (see at the bottom how to make it)- yum!

Don't be scared of the ingredients. Most of them go into a food processor to make a paste/marinade for the chicken. Beware this is a time-consuming recipe but not a HARD recipe. You marinade the chicken for 4-8 hours, simmer for 1 hour and then reduce down the liquid for another 30 min. The pot and stove do all the work, you just have to make sure you work your timetable backwards!

Today's Ingredients:
1 head of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
1 onion grated
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon rock salt or ½ teaspoon regular salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (cut down to 1/8-1/4 teaspoon for just a hint of heat)
4 tablespoons olive oil
12 boneless chicken thighs, skinned or 3-4 chicken breasts, diced into chunks
7 ounces dried apricots
8 ounces tomato juice
16 ounces chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes
¾ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons honey
2 ounces chopped fresh cilantro

Place the garlic, grated onion, ginger, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and half the olive oil in a food processor.

Blend into a smooth paste. This seriously smells sooooo good! Yum!

Next coat the chicken in the marinade and let sit overnight or at least for 4 hours. Longer won't hurt these puppies. I am a chicken breast fan and really don't like dark meat. Next time I'm going to try chicken thighs as the breast meat was just a bit dry for my liking. Chicken thighs definitely are moister.

Please excuse my pictures, there were some definite shadows going on and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my camera settings or lighting to fix it - not that I'm a photography expert anyways. The lighting is usually really good in my kitchen and it was horrible the day I made this.

Dice your apricots. I bought just a regular package of Mediterranean apricots. Technically it was under 7 oz., but I was not about to buy more. If they are super dry (mine were a moist dry) then rehydrate them before chopping.

Once your chicken is done marinating, heat your other 2 tablespoons of oil and add the chicken and marinade to a heavy pan on medium heat and cook until the chicken is lightly brown all over.

Add the tomato juice, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, apricots, almonds and the honey.

Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer for 1 hour.

Remove your solids and place in a bowl and keep warm.

Boil your liquid until it has thickened up and reduced - I let mine cook for about 30 min. This will help intensify the flavor even more.

Return the chicken and fruits to the pan and sprinkle with the cilantro leaves. Serve with steamed couscous.

If you haven't made couscous before it's super easy. Bring to a boil 1 cup of water or chicken stock. Take off the stove and stir in 1 cup of couscous. Cover and let stand for 5 min. Easy and the perfect addition to this meal.

Chicken Tangine Printable Recipe

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