Friday, October 26, 2012

French Fridays with Dorie and Bobby: Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes

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!

10 comments:

Cher Rockwell said...

I like your combined recipe version - it's fun to be able to blend what you like the most from two different sources and come out with something that's your own.

Diane Balch said...

I asked the question on my post about browning the chicken and not using the browned bits... I think you out did Dorie on your execution of this dish... fabulous.

Adriana said...

I also could not imagine why the need of dirtying two pans... the more flavor to get around that Dutch Oven, the better. Thanks for sharing the recipes for Bobby Flay's tagine and the Ras El Hanout.

Betsy said...

Good thought about dirtying two pans. I also wonder why we brown the chicken and then soften the lovely crispy skin during the 45 minute braise. I love Bobby Flay's recipes and your merge. This would be delicious with chick peas added. I'll check out his recipe. Have a nice weekend.

TeaLady said...

Sounds like true fusion. And sounds tasty.

Beth said...

This looks terrific, and I'll be sure to check out the Bobby Flay version, too.

acookingmizer said...

hmmm, now I'm interested to make Bobby Flay's version and compare!! :) We can get ras-al-hanout really easily here in England, its a pretty common spice... :) looks like you did a great job! I almost added some cilantro or parsley to ours!

marilyn said...

I'm right there with you on minimizing pots to clean and I had some ras el hanout on hand as well (also a little tired, but still with some umph in it).

Mary Hirsch said...

Two of you have introduced me to Ras El Hanout but only you told me how to make it myself. Thank you. I enjoyed your combining the best of Bobby and Dorie. What a good idea. And your hints at saving me time and pans are useful. Enjoyed your Post and your dish looks wonderful.

acookingmizer said...

wow yours looks really great!! I just wanted to also stop by and mention that I'm hosting a Christmas Card Exchange for FFWD this year, all the details are on FB and on my FFWD post today :) Hope you join us!