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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)

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tagine

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 adds a perfect balance to this braised chicken dish.

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Chicken Tagine

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Chicken Tagine (2)

 

 

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 ginger, freshly grated
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 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 red pepper flakes
4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, 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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Mussels With Basil-Garlic Breadcrumbs

 

2016-03-25 16.52.59

This style of mussels is so delicious. Most importantly, the broth that rests in the bottom of the bowl is heavenly. This is my recipe for Mussels With BasilGarlic Breadcrumbs.

Having the toasted flavored bread crumbs nestled inside the shells gives great texture to the mussels. The fresh herbs and garlic add extra flavor. It’s so simple to make. Let me show you.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Sweet Basil (2)

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Prep Time for Mussels: 30 to 40 minutes (includes filtering the sand out in the sink)
Prep Time For Bread Crumbs: 10 minutes
Cook Time For Bread Crumbs: 5 to 7 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Yields: 2 servings (1 1/2 pounds per person)
Equipment: large stockpot, spider, mini food processor, large mixing bowl, Microplane

Ingredients:
3 pounds of mussels
1 bottle of Chardonnay
1 tablespoon of Pernod
1 stick of melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon zest
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Directions For Prepping Mussels:
I bought 3 pounds of PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels at my local seafood store. After going through all of them, you may find ones that are open or cracked. This means they are no longer alive and are no good.

If you come across those that may be slightly open, you can do a quick test by giving them a good thump with your fingers, if they don’t close, get rid of them. They’re dead and no good. Then you may find some with a chipped shell from the shipping process. Get rid of them.

Next, when you’re scrubbing the outside shells, removing debris and whatnot, you want to remove the *beard from each mussel. Look, everything that’s worthwhile means doing the work. Great seafood recipes are no different.

Note: During the cleaning of the mussels, they must remain as cold as possible. Once they’ve been cleaned, immediately return them to an ice-filled container.

Next, I fill up my sink with water adding in a couple of tablespoons of flour. Using my hands, I swish the flour around until the water becomes cloudy. I add all the cleaned mussels into the water-filled sink. Mussels act like a filter and will drink the flour/water mixture and spit the water back out, along with any sand they may have inside their shells. This process only takes a couple of minutes. Then, I drain the water from the sink and spray the mussels down with clean water. I divide the mussels into three large Tupperware containers. Top each container with ice then transfer the containers to the refrigerator. It’s time to start on my broth for the mussels.

In a large preheated stockpot over medium-high heat add the cleaned mussels. Pour in a whole bottle of white wine. Place the lid on and let the mussels steam. Once all the mussels have opened, they’re done. If you see any that has not opened discard them. I like to stir the mussels once through the steaming process so they can all drink up some of the wine. This whole process happens really quickly.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add unsalted butter. Allow the butter to melt then add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Pernod. To the melted butter add Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Using a spatula, toss to coat. Folding the bread crumbs continuously, until the bread crumbs have absorbed the flavored butter and have toasted up nicely 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

In a food processor, add the garlic cloves, pulse until minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the pine nuts, lemon zest, and toasted breadcrumbs, mix to combine.

Next, to the food processor add the Italian flat-leaf parsley and fresh basil leaves. Pulse them a few times just until finely chopped but not minced. Transfer to the bowl containing the toasted breadcrumb mixture, stir to combine.

To serve, ladle the mussels into a serving bowl. Finish by generously sprinkling the toasted basil-garlic breadcrumbs over the top. These are my Mussels With Basil-Garlic Breadcrumbs.

*Beard: The beard also known as byssus threads. They’re filaments that the mussel uses to secure itself to hard surfaces. they’re usually brownish and may appear somewhat like seaweed.

Mussels Three Ways

Mussels In A Tomato-Basil White Wine

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Seafood Fettuccine

 

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Growing up in New Jersey we ate a lot of mussels. At the store, I found some beautiful ones and to go along with the mussels some beautiful shrimp. I thought a seafood pasta dish would be delicious. This is my Seafood Fettuccine.

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 6-quart saucepot, colander, hand-held lemon juicer

Ingredients:
2 pounds of mussels, beards removed and shells cleaned
2 pounds of jumbo shrimp, shelled, and tails removed,  cleaned and deveined
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of saffron
1 large onion, diced
3 cups of Roma tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 bottle of dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
1 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
2 tablespoons of Pernod
2 lemons, sliced into rounds
3 tablespoons of lemon zest
1/3 cup of lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, chopped
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 boxes (1 1/2 pounds) of Fettuccine

Directions:
Cleaning the mussels is really easy. First, check for any *beards, pull them off. Fill up your sink with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour. Stir the flour through with your hands. Toss in the mussels. The mussels are like little filters and they’ll drink up the flour then spit it out along with any sand.

Drain and rinse them really well. Any mussels that aren’t closed, tap on the counter if they don’t close, on their own, get rid of them, they’re no longer alive. The same rule applies after they’re cooked. If they don’t open, throw them out they’re no good.

Peel and devein the shrimp and removing all the tails.

This dish cooks quickly. First, you want to have a large pot of salted boiling water ready, on the back burner. Second, it’s important to have all the vegetables prepped (according to the ingredient-list above) and set aside.

In a large preheated heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat add the olive oil and butter. Add the red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and lemon zest, stir to combine. Add the diced onions, season with the Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, stir, cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Moving forward, add the Pernod, lemon juice, and Agave nectar frequently stirring, add the diced tomatoes,, mix to combine. Add the white wine, unsalted chicken stock, and saffron bring the liquid up to a bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the mussels, shrimp, and tarragon, stir one more time and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. This is the perfect time to drop the fettuccine.

Remove the lid, give another stir making sure all the mussels have opened and the shrimp are perfectly cooked.

Cook the pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the fettuccine to the pot containing the seafood. Add the chopped parsley and toss through.

The pasta will absorb the broth. If you feel you need to add a little more liquid add 1 or 2 ladles of the starchy pasta cooking liquid.

Garnish with lemon slices. I like to serve my Seafood Fettuccine with some crusty bread to soak up as much of the broth as possible.

*Beard: The beard also known as byssus threads. They”re filaments that the mussel uses to secure itself to hard surfaces. they’re usually brownish and may appear somewhat like seaweed.

*Pernod: Pernod is an Anise-flavored liqueur.

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