Hello… it’s me… Nancy…
Happy 2016! Or do I owe you a Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Halloween, etc. too?
I’ve been away for quite awhile… a long while… too long in fact!
But starting today, I’m back… blogging, that is.
It’s not that I’ve actually been anywhere. I’ve been home… in my kitchen… cooking and eating. It’s just the blogging part that was lacking.
Sometimes, I find the longer I’m “away” from something, the harder it is to return. Plain and simple.
Over the last months, I’ve made something exceptional and thought, “I really should post that”… but… you know the result of those thoughts! Posting? Not!
I apologize for messages not answered or returned… I’ll admit… I totally disconnected from both feasting with friends and it’s email for several months. It was never my intention to ignore anyone… just my blog for a time.
The result? I really, really-really, missed blogging… And all of you!
And then something happened. A BIG something for feasting with friends. New friends discovered this site without my help or even a post. Thank you social media! Facebook boosted this site AND boosted my need to return. It obviously was time. So…
… Welcome to my New Year resolution…
I resolve to do things that make me happy… like blogging! 😀
And I’ll tell you… this tagine will make YOU happy too! Ahhh, the flavor… and not exactly unhealthy either… bonus! It’s a perfect meal for a chilly winter evening. Add a salad and you’re done… okay, maybe bread too… I’m not exactly a carb shy kind of girl!
This one pot meal has lots of tasty morsels… chicken, pearl couscous, carrots, chick peas, apricots, almonds… Yum! Anytime I can get away with using just one pot to make dinner, I’m a happy cleaner-upper. (Rather, Glenn is a happy cleaner-upper! hehe)
I hope you enjoy this meal. I’ll be back again real soon!
Note: A tagine is a historically North African Berber dish that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The traditional method of cooking with a tagine is to place it over coals. Use of the tagine can be compared to stewing. Being I do not own a tagine pot, this recipe has been prepared in a large dutch oven.
Olive oil (as needed)
Salt & pepper (as needed)
10 chicken legs
1 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger root, minced
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup dried pearl couscous (Also labeled as Israeli couscous)
1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon honey
1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped
15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
In a large Dutch oven (at least 5 1/2-quarts), heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper. Place as many legs as will fit into the preheated pot without crowding (I did mine in 2 batches). Brown for 5 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until all sides are golden brown. Transfer browned legs to a plate and continue browning the rest of the chicken pieces. Add more oil, as necessary, to brown all of the chicken.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the oil and return the pot to the stove-top. Decrease the burner heat to medium. Sauté the onions and carrots with a half teaspoon of salt until softened and beginning to brown around the edges (about 10 minutes). Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in the ginger root and spices and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute more).
Add the chicken stock and apricots to the pot, scraping up any browned bits that remain in the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken pieces (in a single layer, if possible) into the pot.
Bring to a soft boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 50-60 minutes. The tagine is done when (with a thermometer) the chicken registers 165°F (in the thickest part of the meat).
Prepare the couscous according to package directions and set aside. (Prepare around the 40 minute mark of cooking the chicken and your couscous should be done and hot!)
Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and cover lightly with foil (to “hold” while the sauce is completed). Add the honey, almonds, and chickpeas to the pot and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the sauce to a low boil and cook until it has thickened slightly.
To serve: Spread the prepared couscous on a serving platter. Arrange the chicken pieces on top. Ladle the sauce over the top, coating each chicken piece generously.
Recipe adapted from here.