September 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
E: So we bring you another recipe we tried out to make use of our new slow cooker. Let’s cut to the chase. Tagine is (in this case) a Moroccan dish named after the clay vessel in which it is cooked and served. If you don’t have a tagine (and really, who doesn’t have a genuine clay tagine these days? let’s be serious) then a slow cooker will serve you just as well.
This is really quite easy to make, and has some tasty spices. We changed some ingredients from the recipes we saw since we weren’t concerned about authenticity. Just about anything will do, so toss in what you have! We made it with chicken but you could use all sorts of meat and/or veggies.
A word (or 175) about chicken: So I’m generally one of those people who uses boneless skinless chicken breasts for everything. Blame my parents and the way I was raised, if you like. I’ve got my reasons. I am not a fan of dark meat, boneless skinless breasts tend to have less fat than thighs, and I also think they are easier to work with (especially when compared to bone-in thighs, or, to be honest, bone-in anything). That said, I’ve heard a lot about how thighs are really the chicken meat to use in slow cookers, as they have additional moisture content that keeps them succulent while chicken breasts would dry out and become tough. So we decided to go out on a limb and get boneless chicken thighs for this dish. For slow cooker recipes, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. The chicken pieces ended up lovely and moist, so though I’ll be buying my regular boneless skinless chicken breasts for all other uses, my mind has changed as it regards slow-cooked chicken. Chicken thighs are where it’s at.
Ingredients (basic recipe from Allrecipes):
1 pound chicken thighs (we used boneless)
1 to 1 1/2 large yellow onions, sliced
3 carrots, sliced or roughly chopped
2 poblano peppers, chopped
1/2 C. quartered dried apricots
2 Tbsp. raisins
1 C. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Start by chopping up the vegetables and adding them to the slow cooker.
Then take your chicken thighs (or whatever meat you chose to use), wash them and slice into roughly bite-sized chunks. Add them in along with the raisins and quartered apricots, and now all your solids are ready.
Make the sauce for the recipe by mixing the chicken broth liquid with the tomato paste, lemon juice, flour, and all of the spices. Whisk together until well combined. Then pour the liquid over the ingredients in the slow-cooker, and mix until everything is coated, like so.
Now it is ready to be cooked. Put the top on, set your cooker for either low for 5 hours or high for 2.5 hours, and wait. A few minutes before the food is ready, make some couscous according to the instructions on the package.
Serve the tagine on top of the couscous, adding some salt and fresh cracked pepper if necessary. Enjoy the warmth of this North-African inspired comfort food. (And start saving up for that real clay tagine!)