Thursday, April 03, 2014

Cheater's Chicken Tagine

In fact, my version probably shouldn't be called "Chicken Tagine." "Chicken with a Moroccan Inflection," perhaps. This is a stovetop dish for chicken wusses who are afraid of bones. You can use chicken pieces on the bone, if you prefer. I know, Anthony Bourdain would look upon me with scorn. But, it is what it is and this was pretty tasty. I served it with couscous and a salad. It's based on a recipe from Bon Appetit. They would probably also be appalled by my version.  The salad is based on one from Cooking Light.

Cheater's Chicken Tagine
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 onions, chopped
4 tsp. paprika (I like Spanish-style smoked paprika for this)
2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 c. chicken broth
3 lemons, cut in wedges
1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives
1/2 c. pitted castelvetrano olives

Heat oil in a big pot on high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the oil. Set aside and wipe out the pot, leaving only a thin sheen of oil. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add spices and stir until the spices are fragrant, about half a minute. Return chicken to the pot and add broth, lemons, and olives. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium-low to cook chicken through, 15-20 minutes. Serves 4.

Herb Salad with Blue Cheese, Sugared Walnuts, & Berries
8 c. herb salad mix
2 c. berries (I used blackberries, but use whatever you like)
1 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (I am partial to Maytag, Point Reyes, & Valdeon)
3 tbsp. coarsely chopped walnuts
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. apple cider
3 tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. finely-chopped shallots
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
Salt & pepper, to taste

In a small skillet on med-low, cook the 3 tbsp. sugar, stirring, until it dissolves. Add walnuts and cook, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds. Allow to cool, then break up before using in salad. (You can also make extra to use later---or on sundaes or yogurt for dessert---just keep the proportions the same) Bring the cider to boil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes, or until reduced to about 2 tbsp. Mix cornstarch with water until it is dissolved. Add to cider. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for about 20 seconds. Remove from heat and add shallots, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Don't get too close or breathe too deeply, as the vinegar could make you cough uncontrollably and weep salt into the dressing. Cool completely. Drizzle over salad greens, then top salad with nuts, berries, & blue cheese. Serves 4. 

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