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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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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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Homemade Chili Verde

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Chili Verde is a style of chili traditionally made with white beans, tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapeno or serrano peppers. Verde (the color green) lets you know the sauce is not tomato-based, instead, using the ingredients I’ve mentioned along with a lot of bold spices.

Listen, you could also add your choice of protein, like, ground chicken, pork, or turkey to this dish. Today, I’m adding braised pork to my Chili Verde.

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Mexican chocolate as seen below is used as a spice in traditional chili recipes. This chocolate adds depth of flavor to this dish.

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The tomatillo, which is not related to the tomato instead belongs to the gooseberry family and comes in its own natural wrapping.

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Cilantro

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I have a great tip for removing corn kernels from their cob and that’s to use a bundt pan. This way the corn won’t fly off in every direction.

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Guacamole (3)

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Using the leftover Chili Verde to create a pie was a perfect idea. Garnished with a few slices of avocado, my Chili Verde Pie turned out to be a home run.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 5 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: two 6-quart Dutch oven pots, 10-cup food processor, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, large mixing bowl, medium-size mixing bowl, chef’s knife, indoor grill pan, bundt pan, pastry brush, non-stick cooking spray, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, kitchen twine

Ingredients For The Braised Pork Loin:
3-pound pork loin, tied
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of Canola oil (use for grilling corn)
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 tablespoon of ground chipotle powder
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
3 cup of chicken stock, unsalted
3 cups of orange juice
6 sprigs of cilantro
2 bay leaves
1 medium-size onion, peeled and halved
1 whole jalapeno

Ingredients For The Chili Verde:
1/2 cup of olive oil plus 7 tablespoons
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoon of ground coriander
8 tomatillos, peeled and quartered
4 large white onions, 2 quartered, 1 diced, 1 roasted
1 whole bulb of garlic, roasted, divided
4 Poblano peppers, roasted
2 limes, juiced
3 1/4 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
3 cups of orange juice
1 green bell pepper diced
3 jalapeno peppers, 2 seeded and minced (substitute serrano pepper)
1 cup of cilantro leaves plus 5 sprigs of cilantro (including their stems)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of Mexican chocolate, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1 lime, juiced
2 15.5-ounce cans of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups of shelled Edamame, shelled (optional)
4 corn on the cob, roasted, kernels removed
braised pork cooking liquid, reserve 1/2 a cup for *slurry
2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch

Garnish and Toppings:
crunchy tortilla strips
cheddar cheese, freshly grated
Queso Fresco, crumbled
1/2 red onion, finely diced
lime wedges
cilantro

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Start by spraying both sides of the corn tortillas with non-stick cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on top of each other slicing them into strips. Divide the strips in half giving you two equal portions. Arrange the tortilla strips into a single layer on each baking sheet pan. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the tortilla strips to cool for 15 minutes before placing them into a large resealable bag.

Adust the oven temperature to 425-degrees F.
Directions For Roasting The Vegetables:
To start, slice a whole garlic bulb in half crosswise. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Wrap tightly with foil. Place the poblano peppers, the halved onion, and foil-wrapped garlic bulb on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil over the poblanos and onion halves. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

In the meantime, seed and dice 1 green bell pepper, dice the onion, quarter the tomatillos, and seed and mince the 2 jalapeno peppers. Place the vegetables on a large platter and set aside. Shuck corn, remove the silk. Set aside.

Transfer the Poblano peppers to a large mixing bowl cover tightly with plastic wrap, steam for 15 minutes. Next, carefully unwrap the roasted garlic allowing it to cool along with the onion halves.

Take 1/2 the roasted garlic bulb, squeeze the bulb until the roasted garlic slides out from the skins. Dice the roasted garlic, transfer to the plate containing the diced green bell pepper and onion.

Moving forward, using your hands, peel the skin off the Poblano peppers. Cut the tops off then remove and discard the seeds. Into the food processor, fitted with the metal blade, add the roasted poblanos, the remaining half of roasted garlic cloves, lime juice, and both the roasted onion halves. Next, add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 cup of chicken stock. Pulse until the mixture comes together in a thick consistency. Refer to the picture above. Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside.

This beautifully roasted poblano-garlic flavored purée that is going to bring this chili up to a level of perfection.

Heat the indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush each one of the corn with Canola oil. Arrange the cobs on the grill pan turning them every 2 minutes or until they begin to char around 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Using a bundt pan, remove the kernels. Set aside.

Adjust the oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
Directions For Braising The Pork Loin:
Start by adding the spices into a large mixing bowl for the pork loin. Add ground cumin, coriander, dried Chipotle powder, brown sugar, Kosher salt, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, mix to form a paste. Cover the pork loin with the spice rub, transfer to a large plate. Set aside.

In the bottom of a large Dutch oven add the quartered onions, 3 cups of chicken broth, orange juice, 5 tied sprigs of cilantro, 2 bay leaves, and 1 whole jalapeno. Arrange the spice-rubbed pork loin on top. You want to make sure the liquid comes up the sides of the pork without covering the meat. If needed, adjust the liquid by adding water.

Over medium-high heat bring up to a boil, reduce the heat allowing the liquid in the pot to be at a simmer. Place the lid on, transfer to the oven and cook for 5 hours.

Halfway into the cooking process flip the pork loin and continue cooking. After the pork has finished braising transfer the pot to the top of the stove. Carefully remove the pork loin to a cutting board. Discard the string. Cut the pork into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In another Dutch oven over medium heat add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. To the oil add 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, and 2 tablespoons of ground coriander, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, cook for 1 minute allowing the spices to *bloom or until you smell their aroma.

To the pot add the diced green bell peppers, onions, minced jalapenos, and roasted garlic, stir to coat with spice mixture. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft. Add the freshly grated Mexican chocolate, lime juice, and the Agave nectar stir to combine. Finish by adding the poblano purée, and tomatillos, again stir to combine.

Now it’s time for the liquid. Using a slotted spoon and scoop out the onions, bay leaves, and jalapeno. They ‘ve done their work. Reserve 1/2 cup of the braising liquid in a small bowl and set aside. I’ll explain in a minute. The rest of the liquid is going into the chili.

At this point add the corn, Cannelini beans, and Edamame (optional) to the pot.

To the pot containing the vegetables add the shredded pork and all the braising liquid. You want the liquid to come up to about 2 inches from the top. If needed, add a little chicken stock. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes.

The liquid will reduce and the chili will thicken some but not enough. Here’s what I do. After the 45 minutes taste for seasoning. Add Kosher salt and pepper if needed. In the bowl containing the reserved braising liquid add the cornstarch, mix until smooth and paste-like.

Add the *slurry into the chili. Allow the chili to come back up to a bubble and cook for another 15 minutes.

The Homemade Chili Verde is ready.

The best part is the toppings. I chose to make some crunchy tortilla strips, cheddar, and Queso Fresco cheese, avocado slices, and lime wedges.

I’m wondering if you can #tastethelove that went into making this dish?

How can you change this chili into something a little different the next day? Dishes like this are always better the next day because the flavors just marry together which causes magical things to happen. Since I spent a lot of time making this dish, I thought I’d make a savory pie. I bought a store-bought ready-made pie crust. There are some great ones out there so don’t be afraid to take advantage whenever you can.

I took two of my pie dishes, place 1 pie crust into the bottom of each pie plate. Then I brushed the bottom pie dough with egg whites. This helps to prevent that raw mushy-like bottom dough taste. The egg whites form a barrier between the filling and the crust. Cool right?

I used a slotted spoon to fill the pies with the chili. This way if there were any extra liquid in the chili I would be able to strain it off and only get the thickest part of the chili into the pie. Next,  I filled each with half of the leftover Homemade Chili Verde. I sprinkled shredded cheddar and the Queso Fresco on top. Placed pie crusts on top. Brushed them with an egg wash, and cooked them according to the directions on the pie crust box. There you have it, Homemade Chili Verde Pie.

*Bloom:  The process of cooking spices in oil allowing them to release their essential oils.

*Slurry:  A thickening mixture that is made up of cold liquid with cornstarch. It’s used as a thickening agent.

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Grilled Red Curry Chicken Over Couscous With Cranberries And Golden Raisins

Grilled Red Curry Chicken

My Grilled Red Curry Chicken Over Couscous With Cranberries And Golden Raisins is a balance of spicy and sweet flavors, paired perfectly, to take you on an amazing food journey.

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Chicken Broth

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 32 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, 1-gallon resealable plastic baggie, indoor grill pan, 1 small bowl, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied (yielding 8 cutlets)
1 1/2 tablespoons of cumin seeds, ground
3 cloves of garlic, ground
1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil
3 cups of full-fat Greek yogurt, plain
3 tablespoons of red curry paste
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped, plus extra for garnishing Couscous
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
3/4 cup of Couscous
1 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup of golden raisins

Directions:
Start by *butterflying four chicken breasts yielding a total of 8 chicken breasts.  In a mini food processor, add cumin seeds, garlic cloves, and grapeseed oil. Pulse until they form a chunky like paste. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Next, add 2 cups of plain Greek yogurt, red curry paste, light brown sugar, and Kosher salt, mix to combine.

Place the 8 butterflied chicken breasts into a large plastic resealable bag. Using a rubber spatula, add the yogurt marinade to the chicken. Release the air, seal the baggie, and transfer the chicken to the frig for 6 hours. The yogurt works as a great tenderizer for the chicken.

Preheat oven to 250-degree F.
Preheat an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Using a pair of tongs, grab each marinated chicken breast, allowing excess marinade to drip off, place them onto the grill pan. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side and around 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. When all 8 chicken breasts are finished grilling, transfer them to a baking sheet pan cover with foil, transfer to the oven to keep warm.

To make the quick dipping sauce for the chicken, add 1 cup of Greek yogurt, ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, chopped mint, and cilantro to a small mixing bowl. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

For the Couscous, add unsalted chicken broth, olive oil, cranberries, and golden raisins up to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low allowing the fruit to steep for 2 minutes. Next, add the Couscous. Remove from the heat and cover. Let stand for around 10 minutes or until the liquid is fully absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

To serve, add a good helping of Couscous to a serving plate. Slice the grilled chicken on the bias and arrange over the Couscous. Serve with a dollop of the yogurt dipping sauce. This is my Grilled Red Curry Chicken Over Couscous With Cranberries And Golden Raisins.

*Butterfly (a piece of meat or fish) almost in two and spread it out flat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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