It's A Keeper: Quick Tagine-Style Chicken

It's A Keeper: Quick Tagine-Style ChickenLast night's dinner was yet another keeper: Quick Tagine-Style Chicken. This meal includes cous cous in the recipe and I also made some sugar snap peas that could not have been easier to prepare. I cut the recipe in half and it turned out very well, but I still made the entire spice recipe. Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4 cloves garlic, smashed beneath the flat of your knife with the heel of your hand, discard skins
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large bite-size pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick) or coarse salt and coarse pepper
2 medium or 1 large yellow skinned onion, quartered and sliced
10 pitted prunes, coarsely chopped [The PC term for prunes is now dried plums.]
1-ounce box or 1/4 cup golden raisins
2 cups good quality, low sodium chicken stock, available in paper containers on soup aisle [Kitchen Basics, which comes in a yellow box, is the brand that Rachael usually recommends.]

Spice blend:
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika, eyeball it
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, eyeball it
1/2 teaspoon tumeric, eyeball it
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, a couple pinches

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups couscous
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
2 scallions, finely chopped

Chopped cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley [I used the flat leaf parsley because it was also an ingredient in for the sugar snap peas.]
Finely chopped scallions
Mango chutney, any variety and brand -- available on the condiment or International food aisles [If you like it spicy, get the hot mango chutney. You just dab some on top of your chicken as you eat. Yum!]

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 seasoning blend [this means the montreal seasoning blend, not the spices blend]. Scatter chicken around the pan in an even layer. Cook chicken pieces 2 minutes on each side to brown, then add the onions, prunes, raisins and stock. Mix spices in a small dish and scatter over the pot. Cover and reduce to moderate heat. Cook 7 or 8 minutes, remove the lid and stir.

To prepare the couscous, bring chicken stock to a boil. 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. [I didn't really pay attention to this part of the recipe because I make cous cous all the time, so I didn't add the EVOO or the scallions, but it still turned out well. Next time I will try it the way Rachael intended!]

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. Serve with chutney.


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