For this week's Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes, I borrowed a few ingredients and methods of preparation from Bobby Flay's Chicken and Chickpea Tagine with Dried Apricots. Bobby's recipe takes the lead by incorporating ras al-hanut, a mixture of many different spices used in Moroccan cooking - and I just so happened to have some in my spice cabinet. It may not be easy to find at the local market, but it is easy to make your own. Mine may have been a little old, but a sniff told me it still had some umph in it.
I stayed with Dorie's sweet potatoes and prunes rather than Bobby's chickpeas and apricots. I threw in a few cloves of chopped garlic and a whole stick of cinnamon per Bobby, but omitted his canned tomatoes, and used Dorie's chicken broth. I garnished with parsley for a touch of greenery and Marcona almonds for crunch, and served it over basmati rice. I would have loved Bobby's flavorful harissa sauce as an additional garnish, but didn't go to the effort to find or make it this time.
|Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes|
Dorie uses an organic chicken, cut into eight pieces, or eight chicken thighs. Bobby goes for the thighs. I had the butcher cut the chicken into four pieces, and used the two breasts and two legs. I preferred Bobby's method of browning the chicken first, removing it from the pan, and then slowly cooking the onions until soft in a few tablespoons of the rendered chicken fat. I didn't see Dorie's point in dirtying two pans cooking the chicken and onions apart and losing all that flavor on the bottom of the discarded chicken pan. I have not yet acquired a tagine cooking vessel, so I used my large oval dutch oven.
This was a comforting fall dish for a chilly evening, with plenty of leftovers for mom and the office scavengers the next day. Bradley went hungry (see whimpering on Facebook, which may be slightly more active and entertaining than the blog these days).
Bobby Flay's recipe can be found here. Just play around with the ingredients and methods you prefer and come up with your own version.
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing. I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook collection if you haven't already!