Friday, April 16, 2010
Chicken Tagine with Pomegranates
"The Moroccan word tagine, when translated simply as "stew", hardly does justice to this beautifully fragrant, succulent one-dish meal. Pomegranate juice lends a tart depth of flavor to the sauce; use bottled juice and skip the garnish when the fruit is not in season. Serve with whole-wheat couscous to soak up the delicious sauce."
1 1/4 cups fresh pearl onions or frozen small whole onions
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t ground ginger
1/8 t freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
3/4 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup dried apricots
15 sprigs cilantro, tied with kitchen string
1/2 t salt, or to taste
2 T sesame seeds for garnish
1 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F. If using fresh pearl onions, cook in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain. Peel when cool enough to handle. If using frozen onions, rinse under warm water to thaw.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ginger and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to foam, about 1 minute.
Add chicken and onions; stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add pomegranate juice, prunes, apricots, and salt...
and cilantro; bring to a simmer. Cover tightly with foil and then with a lid. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove lid and foil.
Discard cilantro. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 10 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until light golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool.
To serve, spoon the tagine into a serving bowl or onto plates. Garnish with sesame seeds and pomegranate seeds.
Makes 4 servings
This exotic stew has amazing flavors and the chicken and fruit cook down nicely to tender, rich bites. The broth thickens and the couscous soaks it all up. I made this dish for my Mom and she LOVED it.