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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)

Chicken Tagine is a traditional Moroccan, and regional north African dish. The Tagine, above, can be compared to a Dutch oven. A Tagine is similar to the Dutch oven because 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 stovetop and oven safe.

I want to note, in most cases, Dutch ovens 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 that you start it on low heat.

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

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Cilantro

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or neutral-flavored oil)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or 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 butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
2 1/4 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
1 heaping tablespoon Agave nectar
2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Note:
If you don’t own a Tagine you can use a Dutch oven.
Due to the height of the Tagine, you may need to remove the top rack from the oven. The Tagine should be placed in the middle of the oven. You can use a Dutch oven to make this dish.

Season all 8 thighs with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the bottom pan of the Tagine. Start heating the pan on medium-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 as not to overcrowd the chicken thighs. Once both batches have been browned nicely, about 10 to 12 minutes, remove the chicken thighs and set aside. Drain all fat from the bottom of the Tagine dish.

With the exception of the cinnamon stick, place all the spices from the ingredient list above in a sealed plastic baggie. Using a meat mallet lightly crush the spices.

Lower the heat to medium-low, add the 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil.  Add the shallots to the pan. Cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the cinnamon sticks and all the lightly crushed spices. Cook for 1 minute more.

Add the butternut squash into the pot and stir to coat with the spices. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on the top of the squash and shallots. Pour the chicken stock over the chicken. Add 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 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of chicken is 165-degrees F. and the chicken is tender.

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

 

 

 

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Burrata And Peaches

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This dish is what I call “small bites” or Tapas. Burrata And Peaches compliment each other so well it blows my mind.

The one special ingredient I’m using in this dish is Goji berries. Now, these berries can be found at Whole Food Markets, where they offer unique and organic nuts and berries. I store Goji berries in my refrigerator for longer shelf life. The Goji berry is packed with antioxidants and a great addition to any salad. You could, of course, substitute fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, even a few pistachios, whatever you like.

The stars of this “small bite” dish are the Burrata And Peaches. I’m using frozen peaches today because fresh peaches aren’t in season. Frozen fruit and berries are packed at the peak of freshness and are delicious.

Burrata And Peaches

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: Overnight
Yields: 1 serving (for more, multiply the ingredients by the number of servings)
Equipment: large mixing bowl, Microplane, small serving plates

Ingredients For One Serving:
1 package frozen peaches, thawed

7 peach wedges per plate
1/4 cup of baby arugula leaves, per plate
1 tablespoon of Goji berries (fresh blueberries or dried cranberries), per plate
1 tablespoon chopped Pistachios (optional) per plate
1 teaspoon of minced Fresno chili  (optional) per plate
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest, per plate
a spritz of fresh lemon juice (1 wedge of lemon juice) per plate
1 tablespoon of honey, per plate
1 8-ounce (2 4-ounce balls) container of Burrata cheese, 6 tablespoons per plate
Kosher salt to taste, per plate
Black pepper to taste, per plate

Directions:
The night before, fill a bowl with your frozen peaches. Let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the peaches into a bowl the next day.

Place 5 to 7 peach wedges, on a small serving plate, in a star-like formation. Next, add tablespoons of Burrata cheese over the top of the peaches. Add grated lemon zest, letting the zest flakes fall where they may. Gently drop the berries all over the dish so they fall nestling themselves throughout the peaches and Burrata. Then add the delicate baby arugula leaves. Finally, sprinkle with Kosher salt,  fresh ground black pepper, and a drizzle of honey. When you’re ready to serve, squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over the top.

Light and delicious, my Burrata And Peaches “small bite” is another example of how using really good ingredients makes all the difference in the world.

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