Typically, a tagine in Moroccan cuisine is a slow-cooked stew braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce. About two years ago I came across a recipe in my Cooking Light for Beef Tagine and I was feeling daring and tried it. Since then this recipe has evolved and every time I make it, it turns out better and better. One of my favorite things about my cooking over the last few years is how each meal can tell its own story. What I mean by this is I got a little nostaligc today while cooking this stew because I remember I made this meal the first time our good old friends, Erin and Brandon, came to our house. They used to live in Austin and now live far, far away near Toledo, Ohio and even though Erin and I talk all the time it isn’t the same. I miss our healthy dinner parties, our kids running all over the place and then when the kids were asleep the booze flowed like water. Similarly, I can’t wait to 20 or 30 years from now and seeing what meals my kids remember fondly.
Back to Tagines, I ALWAYS digress. MY tagine has evolved from beef to chicken and over the course of the last two years I have added chick peas to give it a more middle Eastern flair. Lastly, I used to serve it over brown rice or farro, which is a type of wheat or grain that has a distinct nutty and crunchy texture and is so good. Now in our Paleo world, we served it over our no grain cauliflower rice and omitted the chick peas. No matter how you make your version, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
- 6 teaspoons of paprika
- 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons of salt
- 1 of teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoons of crushed red pepper
- ¾ teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
- 3½ lbs of chicken breasts (about 5 breasts), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large shallot or medium onion, chopped
- 7 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups of lower-sodium chicken broth
- 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 lbs of butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cues
- 1 or 2 16 oz cans of chick peas, drained
- Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add cubed chicken and toss well to coat, in other words don’t be shy and get your hands dirty.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium- high heat. Add chicken and shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring. You will get a fragrant whiff of yummy spices. This might be one of the most aromatic meals I have ever cooked.
- Add minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes stirring frequently.
- Add crushed tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil.
- Add butternut squash and chick peas if you are adding. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Serve with brown rice, farro, or my no grain cauliflower rice and enjoy.
So have you ever made a Tagine?
See your Recipe Book.