Moroccan stews—typically complex mixtures of spices, fruits, vegetables, and meat—provide ideal opportunities to balance tastes. In this dish, briny olives counter the sweetness of dried fruit and sautéed onions. Sautéeing the spices draws out their essences and makes them more potent.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, halved
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried apricots, halved
1/2 cup pitted dried plums, halved
1/2 teaspoon salt
20 pitted kalamata olives, halved
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 cups hot cooked couscous
How to Make It
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Place chicken on a plate, and keep warm.
Add onion to pan; sauté for 4 minutes or until golden. Add ginger and garlic; sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in turmeric, cumin, fennel seeds, and cinnamon; sauté for 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan. Add apricots and the next 4 ingredients (through broth); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and rind. Serve over couscous.
Wine note: This dish tantalizes your tongue with its lush fruit textures and the balance between sweet and savory flavors. It needs a wine that is equally rich and complex, as well as one that can really hold up to the sweetness of the dried fruit. A ripe German riesling is an ideal partner, because it mirrors both the fruitiness and the voluptuous textures of the tagine. An utterly gorgeous example is the Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese 2006 from the Mosel region, about $ —Karen MacNeil
This really was amazing. As other reviewers noted, the flavor development and complexity for the amount of cooking time is impressive. We love tagines and agreed it is as good as our favorite with FAR less work/time invested.
This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. It is always a hit with friends who like complex, multi-layered flavors. The contrast of the salty olives, sweet fruit, and savory spices with meaty chicken thighs is just heavenly. I think the biggest advantage of this dish is that you get a slow-cooked texture and complexity without having to cook all day.
I loved this. My husband hated it. I like North African and Middle Eastern food - he doesn't. So, the bottom line is - if you enjoy these types of flavors, this is a five star recipe. If not...don't go there. I used prunes because I couldn't find plums. I'd probably recommend a few extra olives and maybe a few less apricots, but it was great! Will definitely make again...when my husband is away!
This was fabulous - we loved the flavors, even my picky 14yo! I subbed boneless breasts in bite-sized chunks and shortened cooking time to 20 minutes, but will use thighs next time - more moist and flavorful. Also increased all spices by a 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. (could even use more - smelled heavenly!) and served over basmati b/c that's what I had. Will def. make again! Worthy of special occasion but easy for weeknight. Served with roasted sweet potatoes and zucchini - yum!
I really liked the flavors in this dish. My family, however, did not. I have young children that were picking the ingredents out and complaining. They are usually very good eaters. I think it was more of a spicy combination that bothered them rather than what was incorporated in the pot. Very easy to make and I would like to try it again when they get alittle older.
Great recipe, easy to make with lots of interesting flavors. Substituted Kalamata olives for a Mediterranean blend, also didn't have enough cinnamon in pantry so threw in a dash of allspice. Let simmer for longer than recipe called for make the chicken very tender, maybe even too much for some taste. Will definitely make again.
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