Fall and Winter are my favorite times for what I call “real cooking”. Cooler days and nights call for warmer, cozy foods. I do so love the deep, darker colors of roasted meats and vegetables all nestled down in one pot with magic carpet spices & herbs…all the juices swirling together to create flavorful sopping with a chunk of crusty bread. This is how we like to eat in the fall and winter.
Words like “stews”, “braising”, “roasting” come to my mind this time of year as well as “tagine”. Tagine is both a type of casserole dish used in much North African cooking as well as types of recipes/stews using said dish. One day I am going to purchase a real tagine casserole dish, but in the meantime I make my recipe for “Chicken Tagine with Dried Figs and Sweet Potatoes” in a heavy, oven-safe pot and that works just fine. I got my beautiful “bird” from my CSA, Fresh Harvest. Below is “before” cooking……….
……this is “after”.
The dried figs plump up, the sweet potatoes soften…the juicy chicken is absolutely falling off the bone. Opening the lid conjures up distant lands as the aromas of coriander, turmeric and ginger waft up.
From Nashville to Morocco in a magic-carpet one-pot very sharable meal. Bon Appetit (or “besseha” Arabic/Moroccan.)
Chicken Tagine with Dried Figs and Sweet Potatoes
- 1 whole chicken cut into quarters or 4 leg quarters
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 smashed garlic cloves
- 3 tsp ground cumin seed
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 large onion cut into large chunks
- 1 large sweet potato peeled & cut into chunks
- 12 whole dried figs
- the juice and zest of one orange
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a skillet brown the chicken pieces in olive oil over medium high heat. Set aside.
- Place browned chicken pieces in the bottom of a large oven-safe pot with a lid.
- Evenly scatter over chicken pieces the smashed garlic cloves, cumin seed, coriander, ginger, turmeric cayenne pepper, black pepper & sea salt.
- Nestle the chunked onions & sweet potatoes and whole dried figs and orange zest under and around the chicken pieces.
- Gently pour the orange juice and chicken stock into the pot.
- Cover and bake for approximately 2 hours or until the chicken is falling-off-the-bone done.
- Raise oven temp to 375. Uncover pot and cook for another 20 minutes. Serve in bowls with thick slices of crusty bread for sopping. The flavors are sublime…the aroma transporting!
Note: This would be an excellent alternative for a Thanksgiving meal instead of turkey perhaps?
Teresa Blackburn teresablackburnfoodstyling.com foodonfifth.com
(This recipe is based on one I cooked years ago for the first time by food writer and cook, Crescent Dragonwagon. I have made changes to suit our palate.)
White Enamel Oven-safe Pot – TJMaxx
Linens – Ikea and my collection
Chicken – Organic whole hen from my CSA Fresh Harvest. Fresh Harvest/Locally Grown