Cooking Without Borders gives this blogs readers an opportunity to make the same recipe on the same evening and to post their feedback, allowing for an improved cooking experience in the future.
I will post the recipe below and the shopping list, as well as any tips I have to offer.
This special event will be scheduled for next Monday, June 27, 2005. If you are unavailable, perhaps Sunday or Tuesday. I’d recommend shopping over the weekend, the following recipe is very easy, but has some ‘exotic’ ingredients. You might need one or two trips to one or two grocery stores.
Quick Tagine-Style Chicken
A tagine (or tajine) is any of a various Moroccan and North African stews featuring meat or poultry gently simmered with vegetables, olives, preserved lemons, garlic and spices like cinnamon, cumin, ginger, pepper, saffron and tumeric. Tagines are often served with couscous. (Food Lovers Companion, 3rd ed.)A tagine is also a style of cookware designed for this same style dish. Although pretty and I’m sure practical, not something I have room for in my kitchen.
This tagine comes from our dear friend Rachel Ray. So you know what that means…30 minutes until you eat! Rachel does not used preserved lemons or olives. I’m sure both would be delightful if added. If you would like to pay homage to the preserved lemons, perhaps some lemon wedges on the side of the plate as a garnish.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and cracked
1 ½ to 1 ¾ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large bite-size pieces
1 ½ teaspoons grill seasoning blend (Rachel recommends: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick)
1 large yellow skinned onion, quartered and sliced
¼ cup golden raisins
2 cups chicken stock/broth
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons sweet paprika
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups couscous
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
2 scallions, finely chopped
Chopped cilantro leaves
Finely chopped scallions
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a slow stream, and add smashed garlic. Season the chicken with grill seasoning blend. Scatter chicken around the pan in an even layer. Cook chicken pieces 2 minutes on each side to brown, then add the onions, raisins and stock. Mix remaining spices in a small dish and scatter over the pot. Cover and reduce to moderate heat. Cook 7 or 8 minutes.
To prepare the couscous, bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot. Add couscous, extra-virgin olive oil and scallions and remove the couscous from the stove immediately. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork.
Uncover chicken and cook another 2 to 3 minutes to thicken slightly. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve chicken on a bed of couscous. Garnish with chopped cilantro and scallions. (and lemon wedges!)
You may want to serve some pita or flat bread on the side. Just warm in a 250 oven for ten minutes.
One note: We've made this with a pound of chicken thighs. They are cheaper and just as easy to make. Just brown for a few minutes on each side before adding the onions and raisins.
Here is your Shopping List:
1 head of garlic
1 ½ to 1 ¾ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick)
1 large yellow onion
golden raisins (small box/bag)
chicken stock/broth (quart)
couscous (1 box)
scallions/green onions (1 bunch)
cilantro (1 bunch)
pita/flat bread (optional)
Hopefully your "pantry" has most, if not al lthe spices and olive oil, so you don't have to splurge to get them all at once. If you have most of them, this can be a very affordable meal.
OK, this entry is getting way to long. In the next day or two I'll post an option or two for a side dish.