Posts Tagged ‘apricots’

Unrecipe of the Week: Moroccan Chicken Tagine

December 11, 2013

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Those of you who follow us on Facebook ( and you really should!) know that I got a slow cooker as a gift. Those of you that follow this blog, know that I am more of a fast cooker type, using fresh ingredients to create seasonal, flavorful and simple dishes. I admit to being a bit intimidated by this concept of slow cooking, and put off trying it out. Finally, on the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I was home long enough to attempt to try it out. First, I did my due diligence, researching recipes, and reading the comments. Many of the readers complained that the cooking times were off. There was lots of conversation about too much liquid, or not enough. Many of the recipes were for dishes I simply don’t care for. Finally, I stumbled upon a recipe for a Moroccan Style Chicken Tagine, with dried apricots and chickpeas. The comments were all favorable, and dish did not disappoint. The rich flavorful stew that accompanies the chicken is hearty and tasty enough to hold its own as a vegetarian dish, with a few minor tweaks ( like losing the chicken!).

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I learned a few lessons experimenting with the slow cooker:

Just tossing the ingredients into the pot and turning it on isn’t going to happen very often. Browning meats, sauteing onions, and finishing sauces on the stove top are part of the success of slow cooked foods. This (un) recipe, is adapted from the Kitchn, and requires a bit of before and after work, but the results were worth the extra effort, and the added mess.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Chickpeas:

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown them in olive oil until golden. Work in batches if necessary, until all pieces are done.  Transfer them to the slow cooker.

Using the same pan, saute one diced onion and 2 peeled and diced carrots in olive oil, until soft and slightly brown. Add 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves, and a chunk of ginger root, peeled and minced to the pan, and cook for about 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon or so of cumin, and cinnamon. Continue to saute until mixed.  Pour the mixture over the chicken. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, and a few large handfuls of dried apricots, chopped.

Turn the slow cooker up to high, and cook for roughly 4 -5 hours.

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Remove the chicken from the cooker, and place on a platter, covered with foil to keep warm. Pour the sauce, including the fruit and vegetables into a pan, add 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed.  Simmer until the sauce reduces a bit and starts to thicken.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the finished sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped almonds.

Serve on a bed of cous cous and enjoy!

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Cutting Dried Fruit

December 3, 2013

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We love using dried fruit to add a tarty sweetness to salads, and chicken dishes. Chopping dried fruit can be a sticky endeavor. The more you chop, the more the fruit clings to the knife.  We use a kitchen scissors to cut through larger fruits, such as figs, apricots and prunes. Just snip away, and see how easy the task can be! Kitchen shears are also a great way to cut fresh herbs and poultry too.
Stay tuned for a recipe for Moroccan Chicken with Dried Apricots…our first foray into the land of the slow cooker!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week

September 16, 2009

1279800115.JPGChicken with Dried Apricots and Thyme

As autumn approaches, it’s nice to change up the ingredients and create dishes that feel more in keeping with the season. The dried apricots, balsamic vinegar and woodsy thyme make this chicken dish a perfect entrée for fall.

Sprinkle skinless, boneless chicken breasts with salt and pepper and sauté in olive oil until browned on both sides.

Add balsamic vinegar (a few tablespoons) and chicken broth (about a cup or so) to the pan. The breasts should be almost covered with liquid.

Add dried apricots and several thyme sprigs (stems removed) to the pan.

Cook on medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and tender, and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes. The sauce should start to caramelize slightly.

This is great when served with cous cous or brown rice.

Enjoy!

Helpful hint: To easily remove the leaves from fresh herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, simply run your thumb and forefinger down the stem, grabbing the leaves as you go. They should fall off easily!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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