Saturday, July 14, 2012

Feasting Moroccan style

I was in the mood for something a bit exotic, but not in the mood for a long stay in the kitchen.  After digging through my older special edition cookbooks, I stumbled upon Chicken Tagine in the July 2009 issue of Cooking Light's 5-ingredient, 15-minute cookbook.  A touch exotic and quick - perfect!
It was delicious, but took a touch longer than 15 minutes - mostly because I had to make my own moroccan spice mix.  My husband deemed the dinner a "do-over" which is our family's equivalent of 2 thumbs up.  

Hubby likes thighs and I prefer white meat so I used a few of each.  I just cut the chicken breasts in half and added them a bit later so they wouldn't dry out.  I will also include the recipe for the brown butter couscous that I served on the side.

Enjoy feasting Moroccan Style!

Chicken Tagine
8 (3 oz) skinless, boneless chicken thighs 
(Because I cannot follow a recipe exactly, I used 4 bone-in chicken thighs - way cheaper - and took off the skin myself and 2 boneless chicken breasts cut in half)
1 1/2 tsp moroccan spice blend 
(I couldn't find this in the store so I used this recipe:  Moroccan Spice Mix)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1 (16 oz) can chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion (or with any other seasoning- just not mexican) undrained
Plain fat-free yogurt (for topping)
Chopped fresh mint (for topping)

1.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice blend, salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. 

2. Add chickpeas and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until chicken is done.  

This makes 4 servings - 2 thighs (or 2 pieces of chicken breast) , 2/3 cup veggies, and about 3/4 cup couscous.

Brown Butter Couscous
1.  Add 2 teaspoons of butter to a pan over medium-high heat.  Heat, stirring or swirling frequently and watching very closely until butter just turns golden brown. Remove from heat
2.  Add 2 Tbsp of pine nuts and 3/4 cup of couscous and brown lightly.
3.  Add 1 cup of chicken broth, cover and allow to sit for about 10 minutes
4. Just before serving, add the juice of 1/2 lemon and fluff with a fork.

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