Saturday, 11 October 2008

Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas.

Woohoo! I get to show off my tajine that hubby gave me for my birthday. Judy has chosen Morocco for our destination this weekend and I couldn't be happier. I love Moroccan food and like to make it fairly often at home. The sweetness of the dried fruit with the savoury perfume of clove, cinnamon, garlic, onions.... wonderful.

For My Kitchen, My World Morocco, I made a chicken tajine. Tajine is also spelled with a g, tagine. It refers to both the stew and the unusual shaped stew pot. The cooking vessel acts much like a slow cooker and forces the steam back into the dish. I cooked it in my large tajine and served it out of small, individual tajines. Cool, eh?

Two weeks ago we had a Moroccan dinner party with a whole Moroccan meal. I am now wishing I had taken a couple of pictures for this post - but there is only so much craziness you want to demonstrate to your house guests! I did get a quick shot of the table I set. I mixed amber dishes with ruby ones to get the earthy, jewel tones of Morocco.

Last night I made a simple chicken and chickpea tajine for the family. This is a great one-pot meal that is perfect for weekday or weekend dining.
Tajine of Chicken and Chickpeas.

2 tbsp olive oil
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large bite pieces.
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 28oz can whole tomatoes
1 19oz can chickpeas, drained
1 large red pepper, cut into large bite pieces
1 purple onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
½ tsp whole cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup raisins
1 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 325.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in large pan. Add chicken, cumin seeds and mustard seeds.
Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, until starting to brown. Add everything else.
Combine, place into tajine or oven-proof casserole and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Correct seasoning to taste. Serve with couscous (we use whole wheat couscous). Garnish with orange slices, toasted almonds and fresh cilantro leaves.

I have been known to stick a hot pepper in this. Moroccan flavours are not usually too hot but I really like hot peppers.