I received a tagine for Christmas this year! For those unfamiliar with the term, it is both a Moroccan stew and the cooking vessel it is traditionally made in. I have been making tagines for years, since I fell in love with Moroccan food at the Sultan’s Tent restaurant over 20 years ago. Buying a tagine seemed like an unnecessary extravagance because a person can make perfectly lovely food without one, but I have to say I am pretty thrilled to have one to experiment with. It looks very festive in the middle of the table too. I tried a new recipe that came with the tagine and it turned out nicely and I did notice there was a lot more liquid left in the bottom because it was funneled back down by the shape of the lid. Keeping that in mind, I can’t wait to see how it manages one of our old favourites.
3 chicken breasts, cut in halves
1 onion, sliced
1 sweet potato, cubed in 2″ pieces
1/4 cup prunes, quartered
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
Sauté the sliced onions in a tablespoon of olive oil or butter until softened. Add the spices to the pan to release the aromatics.
Place the chicken in the bottom of the tagine (or covered casserole) and spoon the onions over the top. Add the sweet potatoes and prunes over the top of that. Pour in the stock. Cover.
If you are using a casserole, place in a preheated 325 degree F oven for an hour and a half. If you are using a clay tagine, place in a cold oven and set for 325 degrees F and cook for two hours. This prevents the clay being shocked and shattered by a sudden change in temperature. Serve over couscous. I chose the Israeli style for this dish.
This photo is a bit blurry because of the steam coming off the chicken, but I wasn’t about to let it get cold to get a better photo!