Chicken Tagine

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Ahhh…. Winter, you either love it or hate it! Personally, I’m not a fan of the cold but I think winter is a time for introspection. The New Year brings with it all kinds of resolutions and time to make them happen or maybe think about making them happen. Winter has its challenges, keeping warm, keeping safe, keeping well but eating well isn’t one of them. Winter is about comfort food!


Trying to eat in season in the dead of winter is difficult, but not impossible. We still have root veggies and the season’s bounty stored in the freezer and on the shelves of the pantry. Slow roasted stews and soups not only warm the body but warm the soul.
Making a tangine is a great way to warm up the winter ! A tagine is a slow-cooked Moroccan dish, typically made with sliced meat, poultry, or fish with vegetables or fruit. Warming spices like ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron are common. This dish is called a tagine because traditionally it is cooked in a tagine. A tagine pot is made of clay which is often painted or glazed. It consists of two parts, a base that is flat and circular with low sides and a large cone- or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. A tagine is usually used over coals but can be used on a stovetop or in the oven using low temperature for a long slow roast. Or you can just use your slow cooker or crock pot which is what I do.

So, back to winter being a time for introspection and resolutions, the cold winter days made me think about the best ways to keep well and how to do this through nutrition and not supplements. It got me re-reading old text books and revamping recipes to include more turmeric. In case you’ve never heard of this plant, Turmeric is a perennial, native to South and Southeast Asia. Turmeric is high in anti-inflammatory compounds, especially curcumin. Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response; however, inflammation can cause further inflammation, which can cause further inflammation creating a detrimental cycle of inflammation that is harmful to the body. Chronic, low-level inflammation has now been linked with diseases ranging from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to depression, Alzheimer’s, and osteoporosis.

The taste of turmeric is a bit bitter and pungent so it should be used with a light hand and for the best absorption with black pepper. If you like Indian food, you will like turmeric. Another convenient way to get your curcumin is by drinking turmeric tea or golden milk. I like the golden milk recipe from The Mind Unleashed, (http://themindunleashed.org/2014/05/golden-milk-simple-drink-change-life.html)


This month’s recipe, Chicken Tagine is prepared using a crock pot making it a great dinner to come home to on a cold winter day. It uses simple easy to find, locally sourced ingredients and pantry standards. The heat of this dish will warm you from the inside out. Enjoy!

-- Diana

plated.JPGChicken Tagine

 

4 large Boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken pieces, cut into large chunks Try Flint Hill Farms!
1 tablespoon flour
2 large onions chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 inch fresh gingerroot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28 oz. can of peeled Plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 19oz. can chickpeas
2 carrots, peeled & diced
3 tablespoons honey
ingredients.JPG1 cup Chicken Stock or Bone Broth
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat up olive oil in a frying pan/skillet & sauté chopped onions & garlic for 5-10 minutes. Add chicken stock keeping out a small amount to stir flour into. Mix flour in well to avoid lumps. Add flour/stock mixture to thicken. Add honey & tomato paste & mix well. Add herbs, spices and ginger. Salt & pepper to taste. Add tomatoes & mix well. Pour the above tomato, onion & spice mix into slow cooker or tagine.

Sauted_vegwflour.JPGsaute_vegw_tom.JPGin_the_crock.JPG

 

 

Add chicken, chickpeas and carrots, mix well. Crock Pot or Slow Cooker - Cook on high for about 3 to 4 hours
If cooking in a Traditional Tagine, do as above & cook SLOWLY over gas or barbeque for about 2-3 hours.
Serve with either with couscous, rice, fresh flat bread or pitta bread for a traditional taste or with pasta or mashed potatoes for a non-traditional taste.

tagine_Pot.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Note: You can use chicken pieces or whole chicken which has been cut up into portions, but you will then need to brown them in a frying pan or skillet beforehand. To make this vegetarian, omit chicken and chicken broth. Add your choice of meaty veggies like eggplant chunks or cauliflower florets and use vegetable broth.

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