Escape to Morocco, at least through your taste buds, tonight. Join Classic Journeys co-founder Susie Piegza and guests on our Marrakesh, Coast and Desert trip in the kitchen of La Maison Arab, as they make a mouth watering chicken tagine with caramelized apricots.
Chicken Tagine with Caramelized Apricots
Yield: 2 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
1lb / 500 grams whole chicken (cut into large chunks)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
A pinch saffron threads
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
10 dried apricots
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons white sugar
For variation, you can replace the dried apricots with dried prunes or dates. If you want an extra-oriental touch, sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on the dish before serving or decorate with fried almonds.
Drizzle the vegetable oil in a tagine, casserole or large heavy pot. Add the meat, chopped onion, spices for the meat (except the sugar or honey), and ¼ cup of water. Mix well.
Cover the pot and sear the meat, on low heat, for 15 minutes. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook, covered for 50 minutes or until the meat is very tender. Check on the meat from time to time and add water if necessary. There should always be enough sauce in the pot for the meat to fully cook.
Five minutes before the meat is done, remove the parsley-cilantro bouquet and the cinnamon stick from the pot. To enhance the flavors of this dish, you may add a teaspoon of sugar or honey at this time and let the meat cook for another 5 minutes.
Directions for caramelizing the apricots
While the chicken is cooking, rinse the dried apricots and place them in a saucepan.
Add the spices for the apricots, without sugar, to the sauce pan. Mix well.
Cover the apricots with water. On medium heat, cook the apricots, covered, for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat and continue cooking for another 20 minutes.
Add the sugar to the apricots and simmer, for 10 to 15 minutes, on medium-low heat until the liquid is reduced to a glaze.
Place the chicken on the tagine dish, pour the sauce over it, and add the caramelized apricots. Serve hot with crusty bread.