Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tajine Tajine! Moroccan Cooking

Moroccan Chicken Tajine! 

(Or "tagine," if you prefer.)  It was DELICIOUS, and I'm delighted there are leftovers.  

This is the first time we've used our new Moroccan tajine--that's the conical pottery cooker--to make a Moroccan tajine--that's a kind of stew.  I did make one in my old chicken cooker not long ago and cracked it, so I was nervous about this guy.  Joseph seasoned it, though, and we forged on ahead...carefully!  

You can cook right on the stovetop, but it must be at the lowest possible heat, and it's recommended that you use an old-fashioned heat spreader or diffuser under the pot--which I did. 

You can kind of see it in use here:'s how!

4-6 chicken thighs--we get some terrific ones, organically grown free range, etc.
1 sweet onion
1 zucchini
3-4 carrots
1/2 each red, yellow, and green pepper if you have them--or just one color and use more!
1 sweet potato
1/2 C. raisins (or more, to taste)
1/2 C. dried apricots, cut in half or thirds

2 T. olive oil (or a bit more)

Salt and pepper to taste (we like Pepperman, an organic blend of sea salt and a variety of peppers)

1 or 2 t. Moroccan seasoning or more--commercial, if you like, but I always boost mine with more:
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon (yes, cinnamon!)
Penzey's makes a lovely mixture they call Turkish Seasoning, and McCormick's makes a pretty good mix as well, though as I say, I always boost it a little.  (I always carry a small jar in my purse because I SO detest the tasteless steamed "vegetable medley" so many restaurants serve as the vegetable dish.  Ugh...but a shot of this stuff would make shoe leather taste good!)

Put the tajine on your stove with the diffuser under it and use the lowest heat you have.

Add the olive oil, then start layering--thinly sliced onion first, then cubes of chicken.  Add a generous sprinkling of spices, then the rest of the vegetables.  Some recipes call for lemon, some for prunes--we didn't have any of the latter, and I wasn't in the mood for lemon.  Next time!

Add more spices if you like--I did.  Put the lid on, and go away and let it do its thing.  It took about 4 hours to cook, and it was DELICIOUS.

Traditionally, these tajine pots are used on a majmar, a little pottery brazier-like thing, but you would have to keep adding fuel.  Too hot today, and I'm too busy to sit out there for hours...

And by the way, of course you could do this in a slow-cooker and not have to worry about the drama--but the Moroccan tajine pot was more fun.

Yep, we have cooked a similar dish before and shared it here--but we didn't have the tajine then!

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