Friday, October 16, 2009

Chicken Tagine With ButterNut Basmati Rice

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The idea behind this dish was adapted from one of Keith Floyd's Mediterranean recipe "Chicken Tagine With Couscous". Floyd was a British chef and television personality who hosted numerous cooking shows for the BBC and published many books combining cookery and travel.He passed away about a month ago due to heart attack. RIP, Mr.Floyd. Tagines in Moroccan cuisine are slow-cooked stews braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce. They are traditionally cooked in the tagine pot, whose cover has a knob-like handle at its top to facilitate removal. While simmering, the cover can be lifted off without the aid of a mitten, enabling the cook to inspect the main ingredients, add vegetables, move things around, or add additional braising liquid.Don't have a Tagine? No problem. This recipe is made partly on a stove-top and partly in oven until the meat is falling off the bone.Umm, sounds very appetizing, doesn't it?

For Chicken Tagine:
  • Chicken Thighs - 6, boneless and skinned
  • Onion - 1,medium, finely chopped
  • Tomato - 1, medium, finely chopped
  • Garlic - 2 Cloves, grated
  • Carrot - 1 large, vertically slit into ~12 pieces
  • Yogurt - 1 tbsp
  • Coriander Powder - 3 tbsp (for body and flavor)
  • Chicken Masala - 2 tbsp, any brand(available in Indian or Middle-eastern stores)
  • Cinnamon Stick - 1
  • Bay Leaf - 1
  • Cloves - 3
  • Black Pepper - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Black Olives - 12, medium, pitted
  • Dates - 1/8 cup, pitted, chopped
  • Dried Cranberries - 1/2 cup
  • Walnuts - 1/4 cup
  • Dried Apricots - 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Spinach - a handful, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Salt
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp
For the ButterNut Basmati Rice:
  • Basmati Rice - 2 cups
  • Slivered Almonds - 1/2 cup
  • Butter - 1 tbsp, melted
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Raisins - 1/8 cup 
  • Olive oil - 2 tsp
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Soak the Basmati rice in water for 15-30minutes.
  • Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and marinate for 30 minutes in yogurt, a tbsp of chicken masala, a few grinds of pepper and salt.
  • In a oven-proof skillet or dutch oven pan, heat a tbsp of olive oil and brown the chicken in batches and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add the grated garlic, onions and saute until the onions becomes translucent.
  • Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves and carrot and fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomato loses shape.
  • Follow-up with the remaining Chicken masala, Coriander Powder, pepper, salt and return the chicken to the pan.Add about a cup of water and cook for 10 minutes on a medium flame with the lid.
  • Move it to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so until almost all of the liquid is evaporated.
  • Remove from the oven and stir in the Olives, dry fruits and nuts.Garnish with chopped spinach.
  • In a skillet, heat  2 tsp of olive oil and add the slivered almonds. Once they are browned, add the cumin seeds and saute for a minute. Throw in the raisins(if using) and drained rice. 
  • Stir gently to not break the rice.Add 2 cups of water, close the lid and cook on low flame for ~8-10 minutes.
  • Move the cooked rice to a serving plate and spoon the chicken tagine on the top.

Makes 4 Servings.

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  1. What a great adaptation, and looks very tasty!! Yum! Thanks for entering

  2. Looks fantastic. I bet the flavors are wonderful.


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