Today it snowed almost all day long, so it was a perfect day to prepare a dish which simmers away in the oven, filling your kitchen with the scent of cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger!
I’m not proud to say I actually received my beautiful tagine as a gift LAST Christmas. (I’ve told you I’m a procrastinator..) There’s no excuse for waiting so long to ‘try it out’. It’s not as if I don’t see the tangine every day, sitting and waiting patiently on the lower shelf of the buffet in my kitchen…
Moroccan Chicken Tagine can be be cooked several different ways; 1. In a tangine – cooked in the oven. 2. In a tangine, cooked on very low heat on top of the stove. 3. In a covered casserole – cooked in the oven. 4. In a large saucepan or Dutch Oven – either in the oven (if pan has heatproof handles) or on top of the stove.
Whichever way you chose to cook Moroccan Chicken Tagine, you’re in for a treat. And, except for frying up the onions and garlic in a skillet, you have a one pot meal with no mess in the kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have a tagine, you can proudly present your Moroccan meal served right from your tagine.
++ Tagines, according to my research, range in size from 8″ to 16″. Actually, mine is only 7″ across at the base but it’s deep, so I was able to able to put in 8 boneless & skinless chicken thighs, plus 2 large cut-up sweet potatoes.
++ Be sure to learn how to use your tagine if you’ve never cooked with one before! (The terracotta ones need special care.) ++ Here’s a link to a great website which we could call “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Tangines” ! http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/moroccanfood101/f/How-to-Use-Tagine.htm
++ Start tagine in a cold oven
++ Place oven rack at 2nd lowest level.
INGREDIENTS Oven at 325 (F) Cook for 2 hours. If cooking on top of stove in a saucepan or Dutch Oven, be sure to just ‘simmer’ the tangine.
- 6 – 8 boneless/skinless chicken THIGHS
- 2 – 3 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into eighths. ++ My tangine is small, so I only used 2 medium sweet potatoes. They turned out soo yummy cooked this way that I plan to try to cram more in next time!!
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced ++ About 2 cups
- 4 large cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped ++ Warm garlic cloves in microwave for 10 – 15 seconds, which helps remove papery covering on garlic cloves.
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. ground coriander ++ I used 1 tsp. minced fresh cilantro, which are the leaves of the same plant. In fact, coriander comes from the seeds.
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped dates (You can purchase chopped dates – BIG time saver!)
- 1 cup HOT chicken broth ++ Can also use 1 CUP HOT water and one bouillon cube.
Arrange boneless/skinless chicken thighs in one layer on bottom of tagine. ++ I folded the loose bits under, which looks a bit nicer and helps the chicken cook evenly.
Put the following spices in a small dish or glass and set aside; 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 ground turmeric, 1 tsp. ground coriander (or 1 tsp. minced fresh cilantro), 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper.
Pour 2 Tbs. olive oil into a large skillet. Add sliced onions and cook over medium heat until onions begin to brown a bit – between 5 to 6 minutes.
Add minced garlic. Cook two to three minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Add the spices you’d set aside. Stir to combine with the onions and garlic. Cook one more minute, stirring.
Spread contents of skillet over chicken.
Make one layer of the peeled and cut-up sweet potatoes. Sprinkle 1/4 chopped dates over potatoes. Pour 1 cup HOT broth over all.
Cover on tagine. Lower oven rack to second lowest level. Place covered tagine in COLD oven. Set temperature to 325F.
Cook for two hours. ++ Chicken and sweet potatoes will be cooked after 1 1/2 hours but the extra 1/2 hour of cooking time REALLY makes the chicken thighs tender. Enjoy !!