Chicken “Tagine” – warm up with this flavorful Moroccan inspired stew

A tagine is a clay pot used in Morocco to make a variety of stews.  I used quotation marks in the title because, well… I’m not Moroccan nor did I cook this using a tagine. This is simply my version. It’s something I whipped up for staff meal at work a couple years ago; and was a big hit! The spices and bitter greens are key for providing the flavor of the dish. You could switch up the meat or veggies for something different. Originally I was getting creative with leftover turkey. (keep this in mind for your leftover holiday bird) I’m using what I have on hand, which this time around is chicken legs from the 2 whole birds I got on special this week. Here’s the recipe:

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Chicken “Tagine”

makes 4 servings

Place the following in a coffee/spice grinder together and grind to a fine powder

  • 2 tbsp whole cumin seed
  • 2tbsp whole coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp whole fennel seed
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/4 of a star anise pod

Set aside for later. For the rest you will need :

  • 4 deboned chicken legs (or 8 thighs), skin removed, sliced into bite sized strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 pints cocktail or cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 8 baby carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 bunch flatleaf parsley leaves
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 cup quinoa

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and slightly browned. Add in the spice blend, bay leaves and cinnamon stick and toast for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the diced tomatoes, season with salt and allow to simmer 5 minutes. The tomatoes will break down and form a paste with spices. Add in the chicken and water, bring up to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. In a separate, smaller pot, toast the quinoa quickly, stirring, over medium high heat and then add 2 cups water and a little salt. Bring up to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer the chicken for 10 minutes and then add the carrots. Simmer another 5-10 mintues, just until the carrots are cooked. Your quinoa should be ready at the same time. It takes just under 20 minutes. Place 3/4 of the stew into a container for later. Add a handful of parsley leaves and a large handful of kale to the pot and simmer another minute, just until the leaves wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Place 1/4 of the quinoa in a bowl, top with your stew and eat! Save the rest of your quinoa in a container, separate from the stew for later. The leftover parsley and kale can be kept together in their own container as well.

I chose to serve my stew over quinoa because it’s what I had on hand in the pantry. Lentils, couscous or chickpeas could also work and would fit in with the moroccan theme.

You could freeze this, but I don’t really recommend it. I find it makes the carrots really mushy.

On it’s own the stew cost roughly $12 for 4 portions. Quinoa is super healthy but is fairly expensive. For a more economical side I’d go with one of the other options mentioned above.

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