Chicken Tagine With Dried Fruits
by Diane Phillips, Cooking Teacher & Author, San Diego, California
Whether it’s a busy weeknight or a slow Sunday, the unique flavors in this simple hands-off, slow-cooker recipe are unforgettable.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 whole Smart Chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
- 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 1 cup pitted dates, quartered
- 1 cup dried apricots, quartered
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 to 6 cups cooked couscous or rice to serve
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and brown the chicken, a few pieces at a time, transferring the browned meat to the insert of a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and sauté the onions, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and saffron until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker. Add the dates and apricots.
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, until the chicken is tender. Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the sauce, stir in the cilantro, and serve with couscous or rice.
Pairing: Here you want something a bit dryer and not so fruit forward since the dish has fruit flavors in it: Sauvignon Blanc or Zinfandel.