Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Almonds & Saffron

A friend of ours has an annual "Groundhog Day" dinner party with a different theme each year...this year it was Moroccan food!!! YUMMY!  This is a mild and flavourful dish ~ and don't omit the cilantro as it does more than merely garnish the dish; it makes a vital contribution to the flavour and character of the dish!  As this was prepared for a large number of people, I shredded the chicken rather than leave it in large pieces, but it didn't affect the presentation or flavour at all!

2 tbsp olive oil
4 large chicken breasts
2 onions, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2/3 cup chicken stock
A large pinch of saffron threads
1/3 cup almonds, freshly ground (or almond meal)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup of roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid.  Add the chicken and brown evenly.  Transfer chicken to a paper towels to drain.
  • Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pot and cook gently for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly coloured.  Add the stock and saffron.  Stir in the almonds, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Return the chicken to the pot and add enough water to almost cover the chicken.
  • Heat to a simmer, then cover the pot tightly and cook gently for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with a knife.
  • Remove the chicken to a warmed serving platter, cover and keep warm.  Boil the cooking liquid to reduce it to a thicker consistency and intensify the flavours.  
  • Scatter the cilantro leaves over top and serve.
  • ENJOY!             

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