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Monday, October 8, 2012

Chicken and Butternut Tagine

Reebs was here for a visit this weekend! Among a million other things that we amazingly squeezed into two short days, we popped by Rustica for a chat with Farouk, Amar, and Amed - our pals from the cafe across the street from our old apt on Beacon St. We talked to Farouk for a nice, long while - he was full of smiles and positivity as always. He talked a bit about his last visit home, to Algiers, and I asked him about what he likes to eat when he's there. He talked about tagine...It happened to be the first cold day of autumn here and nothing sounded better than a long, slow cooked North African stew. I've made this many times before, and actually had another recipe on the blog but this is WAY better. It's one to try in the fall weather - and your house will smell glorious. This is adapted from a Food and Wine recipe. It's a 2 hour cook, but the prep and initial cooking time will only take about 15 minutes!

1 lb chicken thighs, quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cloves
Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
1 onion, diced
1/2 lb butternut squash - save yourself and get the pre-cut stuff from the store. They should be 1/2 cubes.
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
Salt - you'll need lots for this
Handful of raisins
Handful of green Picholine olives, optional
1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
Plain couscous

1. Combine the chicken and spices through the saffron in a bowl. Marinate for an hour or so if you have the time.

2. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven. Add the chicken and let cook until browned on both sides.

3. Move chicken aside in the pot and add the onions, cook until softened.

4. Add the broth and scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the squash and cinnamon stick.

5. Bring to a boil and then reduce temp to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add the raisins and olives about a half hour before serving so that they soften.

6. Serve in a bowl over couscous. Sprinkle cilantro on top. Print Friendly and PDF

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