Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

I saw Bobby Flay make this recipe on the Food Network and had to make it for dinner. The chicken smelled absolutely wonderful and tasted even better. I was unable to find the spice Ras Al-hanut at the grocery but found a recipe online which is below. I have also attached the following information that I found out about the spice, very of interesting if you ask me!
Ras al-hanut, literally "head of the shop" or "best of the shop" is a complex spice blend used in Moroccan cooking, but also found in a similar version in Algeria and a somewhat different one in Tunisia. Spice shops employ experts who concoct the mixture, using up to twenty-seven different spices. But measuring is quite inaccurate because the spices themselves can vary in intensity and flavor depending on how old they are or where they came from.
I ended up serving a carrot salad and couscous with the chicken, which were also recipes from Bobby Flay, I will be posting these soon as they were really delicious too!

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Chicken Thighs
Salt & Pepper
1 Large Yellow Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Ras Al-hanut*
Large Pinch Saffron, soaked in ¼ cup hot water
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 15-Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 15-Ounce Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¾ Cup Dried Apricots, sliced
1 Cup Chicken Stock
Chopped Parsley, for garnish

Heat oil in a large dutch oven or a tagine over high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and place into pan skin side down until browned, then turn over and cook for an additional 2 minutes, remove and set aside.
With heat over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the ras al-hanut and cook another 30 seconds. Add the saffron with the soaking liquid, cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chickpeas, apricots, and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Nestle the chicken into the mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for one hour, or until chicken is tender. Garnish with chopped parsley and a dollop of Harissa Sauce.

Harissa Sauce

½ Cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Siracha

Mix together and serve.

Ras Al-hanut

2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon Cardamom
¼ Teaspoon Cloves

Mix together well and store in a spice jar, makes approximately 2 tablespoons.

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