Thursday, November 26, 2009

Feeling Stuffed? Try a Tagine...

Thanksgiving 2009 has passed... sigh, or was that a burp? No worries, you will feel hungry again by about Monday. When you do this North African dish is a great recipe to prepare-- the flavours are all-together different from stuffing and mashed potatoes.

If you have a tagine (the cooking vessel in this picture), it looks fabulous brought to the table with this lovely stew bubbling away inside. If you do not, don't worry, just use a large pot with a heavy bottom and tight fitting lid.
Preserved lemons can be found in gourmet or upscale natural food stores. They are vital to the flavour of this dish. If you can’t find them, try this recipe for quick homemade preserved lemons. This is a great dish to serve for company because it is quite impressive and it is all done ahead of time, just stewing away on top of the stove, waiting to be served.

1 large pinch saffron threads
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander)
4 small whole preserved lemons, or two large ones, seeds removed and quartered
1 small, hot Thai chilli pepper
2 shallots, peeled and quartered
1, 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup dry white wine
12-24 large, gourmet green olives (not Kalamata)
1 pound very small potatoes or large ones cut into smaller chunks

1) Pour the boiling water over the saffron threads in a coffee cup and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile assemble the rest of the marinade.

2) Place all of the ingredients, except the chicken into a food processor and process until smoothish—not perfect but not too chunky. Add in the saffron and it’s orange water and mix.

3) Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces and place into a zip top bag or a bowl, toss well so that all of the chicken is coated with the marinade. Seal up and pkace in the refrigerator for between 2 and 24 hours.

4) To cook—begin cooking 2 hours before you want to serve. In a large, heavy pot, pour in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Allow that to become hot then add in all of the chicken and marinade and ½ cup of dry white wine. Bring just to a simmer, then cover and turn down the heat to low. Cook very gently for 1 and ½ hours, checking to make sure that the pan does not become dry (if it does add a bit of water). During the last ½ hour, add in the olives and potatoes, cover and bring the heat up to medium-low and continue cooking for the remaining ½ hour or until the potatoes are tender.

Taste to adjust seasoning adding salt or pepper if desired

Serve with steamed basmati rice (or any long grain rice). Serves 6 adults

1 comment:

hotTamale said...

I love your bio and your selection of photos... you're my hero for the day!