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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Chicken Tagine

 

Chicken Tagine (2)

This is a traditional Moroccan, and regional north African dish. The Tagine, above, can be compared to a Dutch oven.  Similar to the Dutch oven, it has a heavy bottom pot for the ingredients to rest in, evenly retains heat, and allows for condensation of water to rise to the top, of this pyramid shaped tight fitting lid, and slowly come back down to the bottom where the food is placed. This lets the food cook low and slow. It’s stove top and oven safe.

I want to note that, in most cases, Dutch oven are usually made of cast iron and then covered with an enamel coating. The Tagine is made of ceramic and makes it slightly different when talking about preheating the pot.  It’s REALLY important that there is always something in the Tagine, like oil, and you start it out on a low heat to start.

The unique spice profile, the preserved lemons, and green olives add a perfect balance to this braised chicken dish.

Photo Jul 20, 4 29 49 PM

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1-1/2 hours
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
2 tablespoons of grape seed oil ( or a neutral flavored oil)
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
2 inch piece of freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon cumin seeds lightly crushed
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 a heaping cup of sliced preserved lemon peels
1/4 heaping cup of pitted sliced green olives
1 large pinch of saffron threads
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups peeled butternut squash and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
2-1/4 cups of unsalted chicken stock
1 heaping tablespoon Agave nectar
2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro leaves

Directions:
Due to the height of the Tagine, you may need to remove top rack from the oven. The Tagine should be placed in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You can use a Dutch oven to make this dish.

Season all 8 thighs with Kosher salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil to the bottom pan of the Tagine. Start heating the pan on med- low heat. Place 4 of the chicken thighs skin side down and then turn the heat up to medium. Do this in two batches so not to overcrowd the chicken thighs. Once both batches have been browned nicely, about 10-12 minutes, remove the chicken and set aside. Drain all fat from the bottom of the Tagine dish.

Lower the heat back to med-low and add the 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil.  Add the shallots to the pan. Cook until golden brown all over. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the cinnamon sticks and all the spices. Cook for 1 minute more.

Throw in the butternut squash into the pan and stir to coat completely with the spices. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on the top of the squash and shallots. Pour over the chicken stock. Drizzle in the Agave nectar. Spread the sliced olives and preserved lemons all over the top. Bring all this up to a gentle simmer, place the Tagine lid on and transfer to oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tender.

Once the dish is done, remove the lid, scatter chopped cilantro over the top. This dish pairs beautifully with your favorite couscous recipe.

 

 

 

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

 

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Pot Roast cooked low and slow brings back some of your best childhood memories. You remember, Sunday afternoons, the house filling up with those wonderful aromas. Dinner time couldn’t come quick enough!!!

Organic Carrots.jpg

I always use organic carrots with their leafy tops. When the tops are in place, the carrots remain fresh. One bunch is all you’ll need for this dish.

Starting out by searing the meat is essential. This method locks in the juices during the cooking process as well as to give a nice outer crust. Once the meat has been seared really well on both sides, what’s left in the bottom of the skillet are delicious bits that shouldn’t be wasted. These bits are flavor.  They are easy to remove and should be used in the dish that you’re making.

Using 1/2 cup of unsalted beef stock, I was able to deglaze the cast iron skillet and get all those delicious bits off from the bottom of the pan. That’s what I have here in the bowl above. I’ll explain that in more detail below.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5- 5-1/2 hours (on high)
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 7 quart slow cooker

Ingredients:
4-1/2 pound chuck roast, seared
2 large sweet onions, large dice
1 bunch of carrots cut into 2 inch pieces
5 cloves of halved garlic cloves
1-15 ounce can, fire roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 medium size Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
1-10-1/2 ounce can beef consomme
reserved 1/2 cup beef stock from the deglazing
2 cups unsalted beef stock
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
Note: Make sure the meat is a room temperature. Liberally season the roast on both sides with Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and garlic powder. Add  1 tablespoon of Canola oil to the skillet. Wipe thoroughly and evenly the inside, including the sides,  of the pan.  Preheat the skillet on med-high heat. Once the skillet begins to smoke, place the seasoned chuck roast into the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side then transfer the roast to a plate.

This is a great tip in making clean up, of your pans, much easier!  With the pan still hot, and still on med-high heat, add in 1/2 cup of unsalted beef stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up all those delicious bits from the bottom on the skillet. Transfer that liquid to a bowl and set aside.

In a 7 quart slow cooker, add in the quartered onions, cut carrots, garlic halves, Kosher salt, black pepper, dried oregano, tomato paste. Next, place the seared chuck roast on top of the veggies. Add the reserved deglazing liquid, beef consomme, and the unsalted beef stock. Place the lid on and set the time and temperature for 4 hours on high.

After the 4 hours has passed, carefully remove the tender roast. Using 2 forks, break the meat up into somewhat large chucks. Remove, if any, large pieces of fat. Return the meat back into the slow cooker. Add the quartered potatoes, and the fire roasted tomatoes. Place the lid back on set the timer for another 2 hours. Wait for another hour to pass and check to see if the potatoes are tender.  If not, continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until tender. Serve hot!

 

 

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